author's note:

Takes place at Wammy's House.
Not really AU, just imagine it as a school for orphan genius environment -
wait, isn't that what it is? XD
Matt and Mello are around fifteen here btw.
This is nothing too serious, but enjoy anyway! :3


CHOCOLATE FIRE

It's a cold winter day but Mello's mind is on fire.

It's burning with thoughts of the new kid that arrived on the premises a few days ago. He doesn't even know why but he can't seem to get the red hair, goggles, or permanent devil-may-care look on the newcomer's face out of his head.

Everything about him is stupid, no - it's annoying.

Given, Mello pretty much hates absolutely all the students at the school, everyone from Near the arrogant little albino to Beyond, another weirdo who tries too damn hard.

Mello disassociates himself from them because no one is truly his friend at this place. It's not a rule at their school, but it might as well be. Everyone is competing to be L's glorious successor - they can't exactly be all chummy with their competition...

Then again, it could more simply just be that Mello feels a fiery passionate form of rage at everything in life.

...like at said new guy.

Mello wonders if it's the electronic device that the other always carries around playing games at max volume like it's appreciated that pisses him off... or if it could be the god awful insult to fashion he projects what with his combination of stripes, baggy pants, and a furry vest all in one outfit...

Whatever the primary reason may be, it didn't change the fact that everything about him is straight up irritating…

Even his name for crying out loud – Mail Jeevas, wtf...?

However, on top of all that, what bothers Mello the most is how it felt like he was all up in his daily routine. When their paths crossed, the annoyance's eyes purposely stare him down every time. It's intense, consistent, but more importantly - completely unnecessary! Unnerving too, just a vexing bother altogether and Mello's had about enough.

Even when the blonde reaches his classroom and takes one last sweet bite of his chocolate bar, his mind is still on the recently developed bane of his existence.

It's early and the only other person sitting in the room with him is Near.

"Fucking googly eyed gamer nerd."

Mello doesn't care if he's seething to empty air but he does find the eyes burning into the side of his head reason enough to emit a condescending gaze of vehemence.

"What the hell are you looking at?" He hisses immediately, arms crossed as he leans in his seat with his chin up.

Near's holding a puzzle in mid solve, and shrugs.

"Your outbursts are merely getting impossible to ignore, is all..."

"I've got a lot on my mind and that's impossible to ignore so too bad - I can't be quiet."

"…I noticed..."

Mello doesn't really want to talk to him but he does want to talk. He feels like ranting, after all...

"Well, since you're so observant, you must have seen my annoying new stalker."

He's dropped his voice to low half whisper, eyes narrowed, as if the said topic of disdain was going to right out of nowhere if he said it any louder.

"Can't say I have."

Near says it with a look of complete disinterest before pointedly going back to his puzzle on the floor.

Mello taps his foot impatiently. Near making him look stupid? Typical! He thinks he's better than everyone –

"Even if you didn't, it doesn't change the fact there is. It's that Mail Jeevas guy or whatever. His whole image just screams 'nonchalant badass' and he can't do that! I'm the badass around here, and he's just annoying! Whenever I see his googly eyes, I get pissed off – "

He's still in mid rant when someone else enters the room and takes the seat right next to him.

Oh great, Mello thinks, another annoying idiot. He's surrounded by them here...

"Why do you bitch at seven am?"

It's asked in a bored drawl but since he has a voice higher than a normal teenage boy, it always comes out sounding slightly cynical with just a twinge of psychotic. It's not surprising, it's Beyond after all, and he's staring at Mello in his usual get up, trying hard to be L, but his eyes burn bright red.

Mello runs his own eyes up and down the other as if he's some disgusting piece of crap one finds at the bottom of their shoes.

"Why do you stick your stupid face in other's peoples business?"

"I don't know why," B says with a shrug, "Your turn to answer. Who's making you so hot and bothered?"

Mello likes B as much as he likes Near which is dislike to the maximum level, but he can't help but feel slightly pleased that he finally has someone willing to listen to his dilemma. He's admittedly a little eager to see their reaction at his amazing deduction and just as eager that he has someone to talk shit with.

"It's the new guy and he's not making me HOT – just bothered."

Mello explains it with a matching heavy sigh as if he can't take anymore and B shoots him a sly look over the jar of strawberry jam in his hands.

"Oh, so that's what's got you moaning so loud this early? He's not making you hot...'"

"Are you stupid?" Mello snaps instantly. "He's just creeping me out. Even creepier than you… I always see him when I leave my room, and in class, it's like he's following me..."

"Or maybe it is because you both possess a similar class schedule." Near deadpans and B laughs.

Mello shakes his head vigorously.

"There's more! About my room this time. I mean, he's always playing his gameboy shit right in front of it! LIKE HE'S QUIETLY WAITING FOR ME. Just.. lurking in a corner– "

"Or it could be the fact that your rooms lead directly into the gaming area."

Mello ignores it, goes on in a loud voice.

"All the same classes. Can you believe that? It's like he specifically made his schedule to match mines!"

B snickers beside him, enjoying his strawberry jam and Mello's rage.

Near looks unimpressed and interjects once more.

"I believe we're all about the same age so it is only natural and expected for our itinerary to synchronize in such a collateral manner."

Mello pulls at his hair, then waves an accusing finger at Near's poker face.

"WHY do you insist on sitting there and contradicting me?!"

Near examines a piece of his puzzle with mild interest.

"I am not, I just deem your premises incredibly vague and ridiculous."

"Yeah, like complete bullshit. Just makes no sense." B adds around a fingerful of red.

Mello's eyes bulge in disbelief.

Did these idiots not have enough brain power to see where he's coming from? Weren't they supposed to be teen geniuses?! They should totally be able to spot stalker behavior from the get go! Especially from super-vague-barely-there antics like this…

"Okay..." He says in a high tone, and exhales loudly. "Okay, WELL - no one asked for your stupid opinions anyway. This just proves I'm smarter than you anal retentive coincidence-believing dumbasses with no mind of your own – "

In mid heated belittlement, B is no longer indulging in his finger, suddenly leaning over his seat, to fully invade Mello's personal space. He hovers across his lap and his face is inches away. The eyes are flashing red but he's not mad, just dementedly amused.

"Wanna know what I think?" He asks darkly as he flicks a finger at Mello's cheek, a condescending gesture from him and probably a death sentence from the other.

"You're the dumbass. All this ranting just proves how obsessed you are with him."

Mello flushes at the insinuation and finally shoves the boy away from him, glaring now, blood boiling.

He huffs up and gives both of them icy glares of death, mostly at B but it takes him a few moments to even retaliate. When he does, he goes for a low blow.

"Yeah because you know all about being obsessed, don't you B? You're pathetically in love with L!"

B scoffs, back in his seat with red jam all over his lips.

"At least I can admit it… to sound this pathetic with someone you have no chance with? You don't even know him but you want him to stalk you so bad. Just desperate -"

"SHUT UP!" Mello interrupts in a loud snarl. "Don't fuck with me, Beyond."

He's breathing hard and he wants to bitch slap B with a bar of chocolate but he has none. It's obvious the demented boy gets off on getting people riled up, just doing anything it takes to drive them insane. Mello's seriously going to beat him up - only a miracle could stop him from doing it –

"It's him."

Near's voice calls out in a calm tone, and the meaning of his words causes Mello to forget his original plan of homicide.

His eyes go to the classroom door where in fact, the new student enters, green tinted goggles up and perching on bright red hair, the colors clashing like a damn eyesore. His gaze is focused on his handheld game.

"It can't possibly be anything but ultimate stalker pretenses that he's going to sit down in his seat, just like what you're doing at the moment. Besides the obvious basis being that's what chairs are for." It's Near's sadistic taunt and he's purposely adding fuel to the fire.

Mello glares at him. "Just be quiet, Near, you're pissing me off now – "

"And if you're so mad, why don't you get up and give it to him?"

B's side comment only makes him even more incensed even though he's aware it's only to provoke him.

Mello ignores it because he knows that he can prove these idiots wrong! They'll see Mail Jeeva's eyes all over him in seconds. He'll prove his theory. He'll show them.

He waits somewhat restlessly for the scene to play out, just one up them all, and he sits up a little straighter in his seat, a haughty expression on his face.

He's walking towards them –

This is it, he's going to give him the googly eyes and idol worship and everyone will see how wrong they were –

The moment passes and so does the new student.

He's passed right by Mello and into his seat near the window of the classroom.

Didn't even look at him, not even a glance.

Mello tries hard not to let his shocked reaction show.

What the - but... all the other times they were in the vicinity of each other, they'd make eye contact! Every single time, he'd just stare! But now… nothing!?

Mello thinks back and realizes all the times they ran into each other they were alone, so yeah he's probably just being cautious! Playing it safe but at the same time, making him look like a fool!

However, only he knew that so nothing stops B from laughing maniacally or the small amused smile playing on Near's pale lips.

Mello wants to set something on fire. Wants to set them on fire. Most importantly - MAIL JEEVAS ON FIRE.

How dare he? Just humiliate him like that in front of everyone? Intentional or not, it's still his fault.

"Well that settles it." Near's sarcastic comment gets B laughing some more and the noise is driving Mello further on the edge of acrimony.

"DON'T LAUGH." He hisses, smacking raving psychopath on the head.

B catches his hand and pulls him forward, straight toward his toothy grin.

"You want him."

Mello jerks his hand back instantly and splutters.

"What did you just say!"

B doesn't even answer, just smirks and Mello's really had enough.

He can't think straight, thoughts only on Mail Jeevas and how to tell him off in front of everyone for ignoring him, embarrassing him by doing absolutely nothing.

He gets up, head held high he makes it over to his unsuspecting victim in a few steps, his boots pounding on the floor in a foreboding tempo of impending doom.

"HEY."

He says it loudly as he stands over him, glaring daggers.

He's spared a .2 second look, not even a reply, and the bastard is back to his game.

B is cackling behind him but Mello doesn't see him, he just sees red.

He slams both hands down on the desk. Nobody can get away with ignoring him.

"I said hey MAIL JEEVAS."

The gamer finally looks up at the sound of his name.

"It's Matt." He says in a complaisant tone. "And good morning to you too."

Mello leans closer.

"Good morning to who?"

"Whatever your name is...? I don't know you."

Mello flushes and feels the urge to pull his hair out. A stalker in denial is the most annoying of all!

"What do you mean you don't know me." He deadpans in a icy voice but 'Matt' is back to ignoring him, back to his game.

Mello seethes.

"I asked you a question MATT."

"Just because you asked does that mean I have to answer?"

Mello snaps at the cool standoffish retort.

"You think you can just talk to me like that?! Who do you think you are! Don't you know who I am!"

"You keep asking me that but all I know about you is you're that guy with the perfect complexion, perfect proportions, overall sex appeal. But you're a bitch. So other than that, I don't really care about you."

I'm getting owned, Mello thinks hysterically and he freaks out because Matt's back at his game once more and he couldn't even think of anything to say!

He resorts for actions instead, violence to be more specific.

In the blink of an eye, his hand is shooting out and knocking the electronic device right out of the redhead's fingers.

"What the f – "

It lands on the desk, and Matt's glaring now, but Mello isn't even close to satisfied.

He bats the other's hands away as they reach for it at the same time. He succeeds in grabbing it a second time and chucks it right across the room with adrenaline rushed sadism at the cruel act he's delivering to an inanimate object.

He can feel Near and Beyond's eyes on him but doesn't care about them, just wants to see MATT'S reaction –

He doesn't get to see the look on his face because in seconds, Matt is out of his seat - behind him - and he's got his body right up against him from the back, shoving him down against the desk face first.

"Get off!" He screams instantly and feels a fingers slide into his blonde hair, effectively pinning his head down.

"DON'T TOUCH MY HAIR!"

It's not even a rough grip but it doesn't change the fact that he's basically getting bent over a desk by Matt in front of everyone. His cheek burns and he begins to thrash even more wildly in vain.

He feels hot breath against his ear before hearing a low voice.

"...why do you think its okay to throw my shit like that?"

Mello feels the skepticism soar through him because he doesn't even sound angry, actually sounds very calm. To seriously have a conversation with him in this position though?!

"That's rich when it's coming from a guy who thinks it's okay to do shit like this?!"

He twists harder and he can hear B laughing.

"Just say you're sorry and I'll let you up."

The degrading position, the ever so cool demeanor's got his blood boiling -

"GO TO HELL!"

He shrieks it, his mind thriving on ways to kill Matt when he gets off of him. He has a few sadistic ideas involving poisoned chocolate and spiky combat boots up the other's ass when an unexpected interruption cuts off his thought process altogether.

"I would like you to stop this at once."

It's a familiar voice, but it's not from anyone he sees everyday.

It could only be

He's released immediately, and he whirls back to his feet feeling disoriented even in his full height. The shouting and rage's got him breathing hard, but then he finds it hard to even suck air in that's got nothing to do with physical contact as he sees who's standing in front of them.

Dressed in white with faded jeans, tall but hunched over, black as night hair, but white as snow skin... the endless black eyes that feel like they are literally staring through the windows to his soul.

L.

It's the tantamount breathless reaction every single time he sees him.

"L…"

Mello feels his heart skipping beats because this is L, their incredible school legend, everyone's awe-inspiring idol, the one and only greatest detective in the entire world –

"Good morning, Mello." L greets quietly. "I must confess that was the last position I expected you to be in upon seeing you again. "

He adds the last part in a semi-amused little tease, before directing an apprehensive gaze at Matt. Mello realizes it's the first time he's meeting the new student live in the flesh and watches in delight at the look of disinterest on his idol's face, disregarding the fact that L pretty much has the same blank expression about everything.

"Are you him...? Are you... L?" Matt asks in time with a few slow blinks.

L gives a nod. "Yes, and you are the new student I believe... Mail Jeevas?"

"Call me Matt."

Mello can't help but find Matt's casual speech towards the legendary L as unbelievably annoying.

He shoves him sharply, unable to hold back.

"Show some respect, stupid."

Matt doesn't even glance at him.

"Don't talk to me," he says coolly, eyes trained on L. "I've been wanting to meet you since the day I heard all about your awesomeness… not gonna lie though, you're nothing like I thought you would be… L."

He says his name at the end like he's trying out the sound of it on his tongue and he's grinning.

"I do hope your first impression of me is not too disappointing."

Mello feels stupid just lingering in their conversation and decides to sabotage Matt.

"I hope you don't mind me asking what you think about Mail Jeeva's first impression...? The violent display of aggressive behavior?" He asks sweetly, in an innocent tone.

L looks like he's raising an eyebrow beneath his jagged bangs.

"Unfortunately, what I think about BOTH of your aggressive behavior is complete disapproval." He declares. "I am positive everyone is aware that this environment is strictly against such things. I'm quite disappointed with you, Mello…"

At that, he wants the ground to swallow him up whole, because L's frowning at him and all he ever wanted was to make him proud.

"But… " He tries, feeling dejected now but still angry at the cause of all this. "What about Matt? He's the one who started it – "

"Don't make stories." Matt cuts in.

"Shut up!" Mello shouts right after, glaring.

He hears L sigh heavily, before making a quiet tutting sound, and when Mello looks over at him, B is by his side, apparently not satisfied by merely watching from the sidelines like the creeper he is.

"This won't do..." L's voice sounds pensive.

Mello averts his gaze, and spots Near is on the floor with his puzzle, silent but he knows he's listening to every word.

"You two must work out your differences for the good of the classroom environment as well as for yourselves." L continues on.

Matt holds his hands up. "No offence, but with this guy? That's impossible..."

Mello shoots him an indignant look. He really did not like rude goggle freak at all, because seriously - saying something like that in front of L? Is he trying to ruin his image? The worst! Before he can tell him off, B's voice cuts in.

"I have an idea, L."

It's said in a slur at the same time he assumes an indecently close position to the oblivious detective. He's hovering over the older man's shoulder, breathing into his ear. L pays no heed whatsoever, just pushes his finger between his lips and Mello catches B licks his lips at the sight.

"I would like to hear it." L requests complacently.

B's grin is sadistic.

"…punish them."

After he says it, the black haired boy seems to lose any self restraint because he begins to openly nuzzle into the black strands of L's hair. The detective smoothly averts the touch, shrugging the teen off in a polite way and then he's walking closer to Matt and Mello.

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Beyond's proposal. You will both have to serve a designated punishment, one that will force you guys to work out your differences, solve whatever problems you have with each other, and ultimately get along."

Mello doesn't like it but he nods anyway because he's not about to disagree with L, talk back to him, or disrespect him. Never that...

Matt has a frown on his face now.

"Like what?" He asks leaning against the desk and Mello feels his shoulder brush against him. He moves away quickly from the unwanted touch.

"I don't really believe in detention… " L trails off, as if contemplating possible ways.

"Lock them up somewhere?" B suggest innocently, but he has a dark look of malevolence as he leers at Mello.

Mello flips him off.

"No... I do not exactly think that follows the school protocol of conduct," L replies and Mello gives Matt a sidelong glare.

"If we were ever alone together, I'd kill you…" He mutters blackly.

Matt just grins. "You wouldn't even be able to touch me."

Mello is in mid-scowl, when L suddenly raises his finger as if a light bulb suddenly appeared above his head.

"Ah, yes... that's it. I have reached a proper method."

They're both brought back to the conversation as L shows the first sound of emotion in his voice and it's some vague form of beguilement.

He takes a step closer to both of them with wide eyes.

"Please follow me."

They have no choice but to do what he says and they walk behind him.

On their way out of the classroom, Mello sees Matt pick up his destroyed gaming device. He feels a flash of guilt but it last only a second then they're down the corridor and he just feels glad he's away from onlookers, more notably away from seeing B all over L.

Minutes go by in silence and they make it to the garden area of the school grounds.

It's winter so it means it's freezing…

Mello takes a few steps forward until he's in step with L.

He shivers.

"I'm really cold…" He says in a sweet soft voice, and brushes his shoulders against L in what he hopes a casual way.

L doesn't move away from the touch but doesn't lean into it either, just continues staring ahead even as he answers.

"The loneliest people in the world are perpetually the ever coldest..."

It's cryptic and said in such a mechanical tone, that Mello actually frowns, falters in step and he's back at Matt's side.

He didn't know what he had been expecting from L of all people but such a non-feeling statement with underlying hopelessness?

It made him sad.

If there is one thing that Mello cared about in this world, it's L. Given, they don't have much of a relationship or even a friendship, but that's how Mello knows how important his feelings are for the older man. Sentiments that strong regardless of a legitimate clear basis. An emotion like that, inexpiable but immaculate...

He won't identify it with the proper word in his mind, but he knows what it is.

Besides, Matt is snickering beside him and for a second, Mello thinks he's going to deliver a rude jab at his sad attempt at affection with their idol, but he doesn't. He's looking around the place with intrigued eyes, still new to the area and then he's leaning into Mello, speaks in a low tone against his ear. His breath feels hot, and so does Mello but isn't it supposed to be freezing?

"Wonder where he's taking us… " He muses, before dropping his voice to a whisper. "You think this is the part where he beats us up and steals our shoes then lets us freeze to death?"

It's obviously a joke but Mello doesn't think it's funny.

He shoves Matt again, can't seem to resist physical violence towards the other and he tries not to think of the possible reason that he just wanted to feel his body heat again.

"You really are an idiot." He deadpans. "L would never do something like that – everyone knows he doesn't like shoes."

Matt laughs at that and it leaves the other wondering how it's even possible that he's being friendly with someone who ruined his prized possession. It raises slight suspicion but before he can question it, L stops and they're standing in an extremely secluded place in the back of the school. There's trees everywhere and no one else in sight.

A lone bench looms in front of them.

"Please take a seat side by side."

The command is said with a matching pointing finger and Mello blinks, before resigning himself to oblige, dragging his boots forward to sit on the bench.

Matt does the same, close enough that their thighs touch.

"So are you going to tell us the punishment?" Matt asks. "Or are you just going to stand there and watch us sit next to each other?"

Mello's eyes bulge because there's the too-slang casual talk from the dumb ass next to him again. This is L for crying out loud -

"Yes and no…" L answers instantly, before taking a step and extending his arm towards Mello.

His heart beats fast as L's hands reach for his wrist.

Why was he going to touch him -

He thinks it just as L's fingers wrap around his thin wrist. It's skin to skin but more notably its the first time he felt L's touch against him and he feels like spontaneously combusting from extreme happiness - for his absolute idol to willingly lay a finger on him and –

Mello blanches because L's suddenly got a hand around Matt's wrist as well.

"You both are not going to 'just sit.' You will take this opportunity to work out your differences in the time limit of one hour."

L says it with the nonchalant authority he possesses before abruptly joining their hands together, forcing them to intertwine their fingers.

Mello stares and his mind doesn't process but Matt's does.

"Whoa," the redhead comments in disbelief. "What."

"- while remaining interminably in this position of ~*hand holding*~ until the punishment is over."

L finishes his explanation with a small smile, and Mello should be repulsed at the method he's chosen but instead he's melting at the sight of happiness on the older man's handsome face. It's a beautiful expression that he wants to see everyday but then he feels Matt's hand tug at his and he's brought crashing back to reality, the words finally sinking into his brain.

"This... this is our punishment? I don't mean to sound rude, but I don't want to do this."

The moment he says it, he feels horrible for going against L, everything he believed in.

"I am aware that you do not but if people wanted to do their designated punishments, it would defeat the purpose entirely."

His nonchalant tone further emphasizes that L didn't take Mello's refusal personally in any way, and he even pats him on the head, ruffling his hair then Mello is just melting all over this time -

"In fact, one may even simply consider this a learning experience."

Matt makes a sound of skepticism. "Learning experiences for who? Retards? Because with all due respect, this is kind of retarded."

"It is perfectly fine if you would like to dub it as such, but whatever your thoughts are on the matter does not change anything. I will return to the others now and I trust you both to go through with this." L says matter of factly, he waves one slender pale finger at them. "One hour… please reconcile and make amends by the time I come back."

"But – "

Mello's trying to pry his hand away from the other's as he calls out because L can't be serious. Hold hands... with Matt... for an hour?! It's too freaking awkward!

L's already got his back turned to them, in the middle of walking away, but he stops, and gazes back at them at the sound of Mello's voice.

"Do not let go of his hand, Mello." He says kindly. "I know you feel just as strongly about condemnation for the sake of constitutionality as I do." His eyes drift back and forth between the two of them. "And when combined with the notion that you two cannot seem to keep your hands off each other, this is the perfect way to realize your wrong doing. It is not too difficult and I eagerly await the results you reach at the end of it."

He looks so carefree and content as he says it, even adds a playful salute then he's walking away again.

Mello stares blankly for a few seconds.

It's ridiculous because it's not like there's any cameras here or anything so he could just remove his hand anytime he wants to then lie and say he went through with it. But even if he could, he doesn't dare do it. Go against L's order...? No, it'd be unforgivable.

He respected L that much... that greatly... that bad.

There's the slightest flexing around his fingers from the unwanted connection with the other boy, and it's enough to make Mello slowly turn his head to fix the redhead in a heated gaze of dislike. Even with the burning fire of Mello's eyes, Matt remains completely unperturbed. He's quietly leaning back against the bench, long legs splayed out in front of him, a bored expression on his face.

THIS GUY, literally on the other hand... respect? Ha! He hated his ass... that greatly... that bad.

He grits his teeth together and exhales loudly.

"I can't believe I'm actually holding your stupid hand right now. Just unbelievable."

Matt just laughs.

"Too good to be true, huh?"

Mello rams his shoulder into him at the snarky retort.

"SHUT. UP."

"You're right though, I can't believe L either because -" Matt lifts up their joined hands with a raised eyebrow, and his mouth twists into a lewd smirk.

"This. Is. Really. Gay."

He lets out a low whistle.

"Is our great L some sort of pervert? Enforcing physical contact between two people who obviously aren't too chummy with each other... isn't it just asking for bad consequences?"

"Don't talk about L like you know him."

"I'm just saying... makes me wonder if he does these kinds of things on his detective cases. It's kind of funny if you imagine it, like I can just see him throwing handcuffs onto his number one suspect or something like that - "

"Just stop talking NOW."

His angry hiss laced with venom gets Matt to falter and stop talking.

Mello's feels relieved for the peace and quiet but it only lasts a few seconds and then he feel's Matt's thumb brushing against the skin on his hand. What. The. Fuck.

He jerks his hand up and down violently to stop the touch as he seethes with even more animosity.

"Are you seriously - CARESSING - my skin right now...?!"

"Maybe but only because… well there's no way this isn't going to sound gay but..." he lifts their joined fingers up a second time so it's right in front of Mello's face.

"Did anyone ever tell you that your hands... are so soft?"

He's saying it in a beautiful sincere tone of voice and it sounds like a compliment for a split second before -

"Mello." His face breaks into a boyish grin. "You have the fucking girly ass hands ever."

Mello's cheek burns because the thing he hates the most is when people call him feminine. Was it his fault for being born a devastatingly beautiful and androgynous teenage boy?

He instantly racks his mind for a derisive retort while Matt snickers away, their intertwined hands back against the seat of the bench.

"As if you've ever even touched a girl's hand before in your life, you loser."

"Well, if I did get the chance to do anything with a girl, her hand would probably the last thing I would wanna touch, if you know what I mean." He waggles his eyebrows suggestively, still laughing, and Mello huffs.

"Ugh! Whatever! I should have known you're a perverted little sicko… all gamer nerds are."

Mello's got his legs crossed and if he wasn't in a hell binding hand holding circumstance with Matt, his arms would probably be too.

He's shaking and not just from how infuriated he is. He's still freezing, still annoyed, and he taps his foot relentlessly against the snowy ground.

"I'm the sicko?" Matt repeats. "Eh, I didn't want to point it out but I couldn't help but notice your the one with hearts in his eyes for L..."

Mello loses it at that, turns on the redhead in seconds and he's got a hand around his shirt's collar threateningly.

"Shut the fuck up, Matt." He growls, digging his nails into the other's hand abrasively, deliberately to deliver pain. "I'm telling you now, don't even say things like that to me, about L..."

"What's wrong with speaking the truth?" Matt's fingers mimic his movement and Mello releases both intense holds on the other boy, leaning into his side of the bench, trying to remain calm but Matt's not done talking.

"You're in love with him, right?"

Mello's back on him in an instant, practically jumps into his lap as he hurls himself forward to scream right in his face, to better enunciate his anger.

"Watch what you fucking say to me, Mail Jeevas."

Mello doesn't care if they're supposed to be sorting out their difference with their one hour, right now he feels like ripping Matt's arm off and hitting him repeatedly over the head with it.

To even say those kind of things out loud and so casually! It's uncalled for, just embarrassing! Disrespectful to him and to L -

Matt's eyeing the new position with Mello practically straddling his hips with vague amusement, completely calm despite the anger thrown right in his face.

"Wow... just chill, okay…? You need to relax... here."

And then Mello watches as Matt's free hand drags down the expanse of his striped shirt, directly slides into his pants -

"W-w-w-w-what are you DOING!? Don't put your hand there – "

Mello gapes, panicking. He's got the wrong image, and how could he not!? Matt just said he needs to relax. And then promptly shoved his hand down his own pants - the fuck

He instantly leaps off the other boy, and back into his seat on the bench, their hands still joined and he feels sweat despite the cold weather.

Then a burst of flame appears before his eyes.

He realizes it's a lighter, color red, and came right out of Matt's pants.

It's followed by a crushed square box and Mello reels further away.

"Cigarettes? Are you insane?" He hisses, eyes looking around them in paranoia.

Matt just grins.

"Yes to your first question. Haven't decided yet on the second."

Mello shakes his head still in disbelief.

Whats with this guy! Rude, nonchalant, annoying, childish, borderline pervert with weird homo tendencies, and now a juvenile delinquent!

He blinks rapidly, shakes his head.

"Don't tell me you're going to SMOKE that?"

The red head gives him a look like he's a particularly retarded being.

"What else would I do with it?"

Mello throws a hand up in the air in aggravation and continues slightly cynical.

"I don't know!" He exclaims. "Something for the good of mankind like LIGHT YOURSELF ON FIRE AND BURN TO DEATH!"

Matt seems to think a blatant suggestion for him to die as funny because he laughs.

"Right…" He says dismissively as he struggles to open the box of cigarettes with one hand. "Hmm, damn it, I can't get it out by myself."

"Well don't look at me." Mello snaps with a dramatic hair flip.

"Aw come on… help a guy out." Matt presses, attempting to use his teeth to drag the cigarette out.

"Are you really that incompetent? Just flip the case open and pull it out."

Matt does what the latter suggests and actually manages to slip one out but then it snaps in half as he tries to get the rest out.

"Fuck." He cries to the heavens at the sad sight of the snapped cigarette.

He suddenly turns and the box is shoved in Mello's face in all its cancerific nicotine filled glory.

"Quick, grab it."

"Do it yourself."

"I want you to do it. "

Mello's eye twitches at the redhead's relentless goal in life to involve him in such rule breaking.

"Come on, Mello, just grab it for me." Matt urges once more.

" - don't tell me to grab anything!"

Matt smirks at that because they both know it sounds wrong.

Then the redhead sighs and tugs at their intertwined hands.

"Let go then."

"...you want me to go against L's punishment just to satisfy your needs…?"

"Its only going to be one second. Then you can hold my hand as much as you want – "

"Shut up with that stupid crap. It's not funny."

"Yeah the fact that I still don't got anything in my mouth isn't so amusing to me right now either…"

Mello's tired of this, feels cynical and worn out.

"I know a way to fix your problem..." He starts derisively, in the mood now for death threats. "How do you feel about getting a taste of my frustration huh?"

Matt doesn't skip a beat. "Well… I have to say it's kinda sorta sudden to be doing that type of thing with you already…"

"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" Mello interrupts loudly, reaching his wits ends. "Damn it, fine!"

He reaches into the box and grabs at the god forsaken cigarette quickly.

Matt's smirking and he looks positively delighted at his successful manipulation. Mello sees the happy look on his face as he tucks the box away, waiting eagerly for his cig.

"See, that wasn't so hard was it?"

Mello considers breaking the other boy's second most prized possession in half but instead unceremoniously shoves it into the smirking lips. The move takes the other by surprise but he still manages to balance it in his mouth somehow before seriously going on as if nothing was so rudely jammed into his mouth mere moments ago.

He flicks open the lighter and the smell of smoke instantly fills the air.

Mello coughs and bats away at it with a berserk hand movement.

Matt laughs at him, but he's coughing himself.

"We're going to both smell like smoke, L will find out and we'll get in even more trouble." Mello rants dramatically then narrows his eyes to slits. "I should kill you…"

Matt raises a hand up in defense. "Hey hey - why are you so aggressive towards me?"

Mello has a dry smile on his face.

"Are you playing stupid, a complete and total moron, or you really don't know?"

The redhead just shrugs, taking a puff from the cigarette.

"None of the above. All I gotta say is all this heated passion you give me is kind of cute."

"Wow." Mello deadpans, annoyed at the adjective the other had used. "I had no idea that smoking can turn people into delusional idiots."

"There it is again," Matt points out happily. "So offensive - all the time! You never stop… why do you hate me so much anyway?"

Mello decides to indulge the other in a detailed direct answer.

"Because you annoy me. You walk in here with this look on your face like you're so cool, greater than everyone, beyond them. And I know you've been watching me like a fucking creeper so don't even try to tell me otherwise. That parts the most irritating of all."

After his little rant, Matt doesn't answer. He's busy with his cigarette and Mello tugs at his hand.

"Well?"

"Oh..." he starts, flicking ash onto the ground. "I was just waiting for you to realize I can say the exact thing about you."

"What do you mean."

"Even you can't deny that stuff you said describes you too, doesn't it? Don't be mad… just accept it. We're more alike than you wanna ever give credit for. I know you don't want to acknowledge that at all but I can and I do."

"Okay, so we have a few things in common. So what? What's with the unnaturally long attention span you seem to have for me?"

"Hmm, well no point in lying... yeah, I do watch you, and in this case, that kind of attention can be called 'attraction'."

Mello gapes.

"What exactly are you saying." He deadpans.

Matt blows a puff of smoke right into his face. "Is it that hard to figure out, Mello? I'm crushing on you a little."

What the hell, Mello thinks, his eyebrows shooting up at the directness.

What was it - a love confession? Just like that!? After he freaking broke his psp and threatened to kill him several times -

Mello groaned, covering his face with a hand, the one locked with Matt's feeling very very uncomfortable now.

"Why even tell me you weirdo! Ugh…" He groans some more. "...you don't even know me..." He mutters it but Matt hears it anyway.

"Then let me get to know you."

"What and how and why would I even want that - "

"It's really easy and you've got nothing to lose. I mean, we can just tell each other about ourselves. That's what L wants, isn't it? For us to get along…"

"Don't use L as an excuse for your ulterior motives!"

He sees Matt roll his eyes at his instant defensiveness.

"I'm not… I seriously want to know more about you. Just ask, and I'll tell you anything about myself."

"I guess it must have slipped your notice but I have absolutely no interest in you."

Matt pointedly ignores his sentiments.

"I'm fifteen years old, yes my hair is natural, and guess what?"

He flicks the half finished cigarette away from him, and it lands dangerously near a plant.

"I found this pack on the floor when we were walking and thought it'd be fun to throw you off with it. I don't even smoke, you know."

"What."

"Yeah, I don't and the only thing I actually do is play games. My psp is kind of my life - well, was until someone decided to destroy it. But whatever. Hmm, what else... I hate everything about school, following rules, learning things I don't care about. It's a fucking drag, you know? But it's not like I'm stupid. I'm l33t as hell, technology is amazing to me and hacking mainframes gives me boners – "

"I DON'T CARE!"

Mello finally gets the chance to yell, deciding the unwanted onslaught of Matt's life story is too much and there's no way he wants to know what Matt is going to tell him next after bringing up the god forbidden word 'boner' -

The red head frowns at him slightly, looking a little offended at being so rudely interrupted.

"You don't care about anything I do...?"

"NO." Mello says calmly but in a loud voice. "I most definitely do not give a flying - "

He doesn't even get to finish his sentence because Matt suddenly leans over and kisses him right on the mouth.

Mello's eyes widen to the size of the moon.

He's stunned, the move taking him by complete and total surprise.

He's too shocked for words, too shocked to even move.

He's staring unseeingly at his reflection on Matt's goggles as the lips press against his mouth softly. It's not what he expects at all. Matt comes off as a regular boy with raging hormones, but his kiss isn't wanton or horny at all. It's gentle, and the softness of Matt's lips against his own, feels borderline good but Mello can still taste the cigarette on him.

For a fleeting moment he thinks he wouldn't mind the taste of nicotine if its coming from his tongue –

Wait... tongue?!

Mello shoves him off haphazardly with a frenzied hand while attempting to break their conjoined digits as well but Matt's grip around it is resolute.

He's panting hard, furious and he throws the other a filthy look of contempt.

"What. The. Fuck. Was. That."

"You said you don't care about what I do..." Matt reminds him coolly but he's breathing hard and his cheeks are just as flushed as the blonde's.

Mello wipes his mouth with his hand, his eyes bulging.

"Do you want to die, Matt?"

It's supposed to be a threatening foretelling of Mello's homicidal intents to instill fear but Matt takes it a completely different way.

For the first time, he looks as cynical as Mello feels.

"Yeah, sometimes. It's not like it'll make a difference to anyone. I have no family... I don't even have any friends. So who would even care? Definitely not you, right?"

Mello's initial reaction is a condescending retorts but one look at the hopelessness on Matt's face... the bitterness in his voice...

He falters, because even though he's supposed to be overwhelmed with indignation at the stupid kiss and beat Matt up right now like he plotted three seconds ago in his head - there's a stronger emotion that overpowers his anger.

It's something else and Mello knows exactly how it is to feel that way.

The pain of being alone...

He's staring still, not moving, and sees the other boy in a completely different view.

He sees himself.

Matt's right... they are alike, no - they are exactly the same.

The other students at the school don't have anyone either but the difference is that they don't care. All they focus their energy on is surpassing L, to gain the title of the highest level of intelligence. It's mechanical passion to epic proportions that it's not even human.

Matt and Mello... they were different. They were the only ones... who despite being geniuses, hadn't crossed the line to insanity, and still wanted to feel alive, have a normal life worth living with people that care about them.

He's aware he's been silent for a few minutes and he makes sure his tone of voice gives nothing away to the emotional array of feelings inside of him.

"Oh, please Matt. Don't pull the suicidal emo shit with me." He says snootily as he picks at his fingernail.

He's wishing hard that he had chocolate right now, if not just to get the taste of Matt out of his mouth, from his lips, off his tongue. Though he gets a feeling the other has already somehow made enough impact on his life to linger on even with the help of sugarcoating.

"Emo, huh?" Matt echos.

"Yeah, you look really pathetic with that stupid frown on your face. It's just lame, extremely unattractive."

"Damn, you really know exactly what to say to make someone feel good about themselves." Matt's reply is dripping with sarcasm. "You're the best."

"I know." Mello agrees lightly, but his heart's beating fast because he's decided he's going to do it. L wants them to get along? Well, he can't ever go against L. Matt wants it too? Well, he can't ever get him out of his head..

Maybe it won't even be so bad, to try and pursue friendship with someone for once. To have a friend...

They catch each other's eyes, and Mello smiles at him causing the redhead to furrow his eyebrows. He probably feels awkward at the sudden kind expression on the other's face but Mello just feels warm.

"Hey." Mello says suddenly to get Matt's eyes on him. The redhead had been gazing off silently.

"What?"

"You said earlier you don't like following rules. It's pretty clear with your gaming during class hours and smoking on school campus that you like to break them."

"Yeah..." Matt replies slowly, "What about it...?"

"Well, I don't think you know this, but there's kind of this unofficial rule at this school."

"What rule?"

"No one can be your friend."

"Seriously? What the - that's... terrible - "

"You didn't let me finish." Mello says coolly. "I know right from wrong, so I'm not too crazy about being told what to do meaning I hate rules just as much as you."

He takes a deep breath, as he opts to deliver the sinker, the finality to his request.

"In that case... the rule I mentioned earlier... I think you should break it with me."

It's deliberately said in a way that's hard to comprehend his exact sentiments but he knows Matt is as smart as him.

It's only seconds later when a confused look appears on the redhead's face and he cocks his head to the side, eyebrows shooting up.

"Wait... what? Did you just ask me to be your friend?"

Perfect, he got his exact point and Mello didn't even need to voice out such a pathetic question out loud.

He grins, and holds up their joined hands. "No, I'm giving you permission to."

Matt's staring at their fingers like it's suddenly a confirmation proof of their new friendship.

"…do I seriously need permission for that?"

"Of course!" Mello shoves him playfully. "You should be honored, you idiot."

It gets Matt laughing again and it's only been a few minutes since the last time, but Mello doesn't think its as annoying as he thought it was every other time.

"Damn, you make it sound like its some sort of mind-blowingly glorious life-changing offer."

"Yeah, well if you're going to be my first one ever..." Mello trails off, and squeezes at their hands, bringing it to brush against Matt's face in a teasing mock-punch. "Then fuck yeah, of course it is."

The redhead's grinning and their hands rest in between them on the bench again. They both are staring at it in mild fascination just seeing it in a whole different perspective. It doesn't feel like a punishment anymore and they both ignore the slight stain of pink across their cheeks.

"And what are the conditions to be friends with an insanely violent but extremely attractive bitchy psycho like you?" Matt suddenly asks and though he's insulting and complimenting at one time, Mello just feels amused. To play around and talk so freely like this...

"There's only one main condition…" He answers, a finger to his chin in a thoughtful pose.

"Tell me."

He leans a little closer and points his finger straight into Matt's chest.

"You have to…"

He holds his pinky out, and pointedly looks at it so Matt will wrap his around it and he continues when he does -

"- you have to promise to be with me forever. Just stay with me always and never leave. Like if I need you in the future, you gotta be there! No questions asked. I'm pretty sure that's what friends do... got it?"

Matt nods and they shake once with their pinkies before letting go.

"That's all…" Mello finishes, with a nod of his head. "Easy right?

"Well you know what they say - easier said than done."

"Yeah well that goes for everything in the world." Mello says with a roll of his eyes and they are both leaning against the bench, shoulders touching. Funny, the winter day doesn't feel as cold...

"But there's nothing in the world like you..." Matt says softly after a few moments and it puts a smile on Mello's face but at the same time he feels a little bit awkward.

"Hey Matt..." He starts, biting his lip. "Were you... were you serious when you said you have some sort of stupid crush on me?"

"Maybe. Maybe not," is the unhelpful reply from the red head before he smirks. "...why? Are you considering it?"

"NO, HELL NO." Mello's back to his loud mouthed defensiveness at the insinuation but only because he really can't tell if Matt is serious or not. "Idiot..."

"When you finally do, then maybe I'll consider it serious."

"That again." He rolls his eyes. "Whatever... you're just crazy."

"I'm holding hands with someone who threaten to kill me 10 times in one day... I must be."

Mello wants to snap at it again, but he doesn't because instead he's laughing and Matt is too.

The sound of their laughter joins together and it's unfamiliar because not only is it the first time he's even laughed in a while, but to laugh with someone else...

It's the lightest he's felt in his whole young life.

For once, he doesn't feel alone or like the world is against him because this time - he has the world laughing with him...

The footsteps approach quietly, drowned out by their loud noises of delight, and L is suddenly standing in front of them, looking just as amused.

"Ah, I see you two are still going through with the punishment, even holding hands… "

"Yeah, the whole time." Mello says happily.

"Just like you told us." Matt adds.

"Interesting, and I admit I am surprised... I am also glad to inform you the punishment has reached its given time limit. It's been an hour and you both can let go now."

The two part their fingers awkwardly, and they both pointedly ignore the way their fingers are still brushing ever so slightly against each even when it's resting back on the seat of the bench.

L shoves a finger to his lips.

"I am quite proud of you both because it seems apparent you have reconciled in one way or another." L starts. " However, I have something to confess… "

"What?" The two teenagers asked in unison.

Their idol grins at them.

"I was only 31% serious about holding hands during the entirety of the disciplinary lesson... but I am 100% sure it worked."

The two boys flush with a mix of different reactions - did they just get pwn'd by L? It shouldn't be too surprising really. L is brilliant, and he's brilliantly manipulative.

They stand up to go back to their regularly schedule classes and as they're walking side by side, Mello feels the tell tale brush of Matt's hand against his own.

He freezes up for a moment before intertwining their fingers once more.

Punishment is no longer the reason for it, just friendship, comfort, and perhaps something that will be developed later on in their days together, but one thing is surer than even L's percentages.

Mello would hold on forever, and he would never let go.


end note:

heh, well... did you like it?

if you did, you should review. it's my first matt/mello story!

this is a one shot by the way, just imagine in your head that they become bestfriends/lovers/til death do us partners in crime til the day they die!

REVIEWWWWW!