I think Matt would probably be pleased by the fact that he's number 42.

Summary: And maybe it had been a little silly when it had first started, just a little, but he didn't care because no amount of time spent glued either to the TV screen or Mello's mischievous side could compete with a moment spent with you and your bright eyes so full of hope for the future.

Pairing: Matt/Reader

Close your eyes little girl
You're a princess now, you own this world
Twirling in your twirly dress
You're the loveliest far above the rest...

You'd been by his side since the beginning. Ever present and ever perfect in his eyes. So much more than anyone had ever thought you'd be, because they couldn't see you the way he could.

And for all the others, you'd just been one more face in the crowd, one more little orphan girl who was admitted to the house you all shared because you showed promise. But not to him. Oh no, he'd known what you were the moment he'd laid eyes on you.

You were a princess.

And it didn't matter what Mello said, he was in love and it was as simple as that. There was something about you, about the way you wore your hair and held your chin up just a smidge higher than everyone else, the way you worked figures in a snap and still managed to have a magnificent imagination, the way you twirled in your long dresses when you thought no one was looking, the way you looked at him across the room and smiled, the way you lit up the world like no one else.

And maybe it had been a little silly when it had first started, just a little, but he didn't care because no amount of time spent glued either to the TV screen or Mello's mischievous side could compete with a moment spent with you and your bright eyes so full of hope for the future.

And the nights when you had bad dreams, brought on by villainous shadows that haunted your bedroom, Matt would be there to whisper you slowly back to sleep and watch your face ease into slumber, all the worries of the world suddenly slackening from your features as you dreamed of wonderful places and palaces filled with courtiers all bowing to you and you alone.

At least, that was what he hoped you dreamed of.

He would always slip away before you awoke the next morning, because he had decided that might be a bit much at so crucial a stage as this, but he made sure you were safe. Even when you didn't know it, he was keep an eye on you, because there had never before been such a thudding in his chest than when you walked past, or so strong a desire to deck a kid than when he teased you over one thing or another that Matt found absolutely lovely about you.

He was the first boy you ever let catch you off-guard and allowed to cover your eyes with a whisper to keep them shut tight as he led you through well-worn halls and showed you wonders you'd never knew existed until then.

He knew all the things that made you tick and twirl and it made his heart hurt when you were sad, even though his young mind couldn't quite figure out why.

So he'd decided on the spot one night, when he'd found you sobbing silently into your pillow for a reason he knew better than to ask about, that no matter what happened, or what turns life took you two on, he'd be there. He'd look after you.

And no matter what, he'd love you, because he knew that was more important than any number of other things combined. And if you didn't love him back, well…

He was willing to take that chance.

You build your castles in the sky
Stars reflecting off your eyes
And angels sing on silver clouds
And no one cries, screams or shouts...

It took you a few years, but the day you singled him out and asked him to join you up on the roof to watch the stars, his heart did backflips worthy of a gold metal.

And you didn't notice how you affected him, as loudly as his heart was pounding out against his ribs he thought you might be able to hear it, but he didn't care, because he had all the time in the world to get this right. And you deserved nothing short of perfection.

You were a dreamer, always talking about the things you knew you'd never get but that you wanted anyway, and he never laughed at you, because he knew more than most how important dreams could be.

He encouraged your fantasies, always making suggestions when his opinion was requested, and never once tried to tear down the castle that you'd started to build up in the sky. He wanted you seated up there on a throne of pearls and gold, wreathed all 'round with angels singing. And he didn't care how silly Mello thought that sounded, because it was true, and no one had asked the blonde's opinion in the first place, thank you very much!

More than anything, though, he wanted you to be happy. He wanted you to escape all the sadness in the world, all the hurt and sorrow and disappointment. He wanted you to achieve all your dreams, because the alternative was too terrible to even think about.

"So, when you leave here," he began casually one night as you two sat out on the shingles just above your bedroom window, "what do you want to do? I mean, if you could pick anything."

You laughed, gently, and turned to look at him. "I dunno. I mean, there so many things I'd like to be, I'm not sure if I could narrow it down to just one. Is that a bad thing?"

He stared at you as the stars were reflected back at him from your eyes, and his heart stopped beating for a fraction of a second, because nothing could compare to that image no matter how long he lived. "No," he whispered back eventually, "that's not a bad thing at all."

You'd smiled then, all innocent and untapped potential, and more than ever before he knew that he could never let anything happen to you without feeling guilt for the rest of his life. Someone like you, who could build castles in the sky and know that they might not float forever but would try just the same, deserved to have the best that life could offer.

And he intended to be there to make sure you got it.

Close your eyes pretty girl
'Cause it's easier when you brace yourself
Set your thoughts on a world far off
Where we only cry from joy...

Life wasn't the kindest of creatures, of that Matt had no doubts, but there were certain times when he wished it would take a break from the constant vindictiveness in order to let good people, people like you, have a break from all the things life threw the way of not so good people.

People like him.

So the nights he came back to the dimly lit apartment wincing and nursing a new injury, and found you there waiting with the first-aid kit, he felt like possibly the worst person on the planet for making you worry about him. And he always apologized, because he was guilty as charged in the made-my-girl-worry department, and you always waved it off because that wasn't the point.

"You're alive," you pointed out for possibly the millionth time that month, "I don't care about anything else."

"You should," he replied in the same way he had ever since this pattern had started, "I'm a terrible human being." The confession always slipped past his lips without him really meaning to say it, despite how true he found it, and he always winced seconds later because he'd said that to your face, and you were the one looking out for him now, although heaven only knew why you put up with his antics.

"Liar." You snapped back instinctively. "A terrible human being wouldn't have kept me safe for so long." You'd stitch and bandage and remedy his wounds. "A terrible human being wouldn't let himself get injured trying to save someone important to them." Your voice would dip a few octaves and you'd close your eyes, always remembering the words he'd told you way back when you'd still been children. "A terrible human being wouldn't be so easy to love."

And you'd say it like it was the most obvious thing in the world, and Matt's heart would shatter in his chest like crystal thrown against a brick wall because that was life's sense of humor all over. The boy who'd decided to protect a little girl the first time he'd laid eyes on her ending up being the one protected by a girl who could close her eyes and overcome anything thrown her way.

"But an angel like you still would be." His lips would twitch upwards at the edges, almost rueful in their expression, and he'd wait the span of perhaps six seconds before he leaned in and stole a kiss without warning, all his wounds screaming in protest before you kissed back and soothed all his pain away without even having to try.

"I'm no angel." You'd always reprimand him when he called you that, all the while trying to hide the smile that the comment elicited.

"Only because they mislaid your wings and haven't been able to deliver them yet." And he'd grin shamelessly, because nothing else really mattered so long as you were waiting for him when he came back from a job, beaten and bloody, ready to stitch his seams back together.

And all the dreams in the world couldn't compete with the reality that no matter what anyone said, you two were happy, and he wouldn't have fixed it any other way, even if he'd been able to.

You were all he'd ever really wanted in life, that little girl from so long ago twirling to a symphony only you could hear, and now that he had you it didn't matter what life threw his way.

He'd be able to take it if you continued to stay by his side.

Oh, lovely and beautiful, precious and priceless
You're so much more than you know, heart of the purest gold
Pure clean and white as snow clothed in such splendor
Oh, what a beauty for me...

And thus the last of the dear Wammy Boys is accounted for. It's about time. XD

The song "Set Apart This Dream" belongs to: Flyleaf

Death Note and its related characters belong to: Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata