Of Kings and Castles

They were still so young.

Matt had realized with a light jolt as he was tapping away on his DS. It wasn't anything new, but with the heavy idea of death looming over them, Matt remembered that they were really just kids. The two of them. Mello had just turned twenty-one, and he was still in the teens. Hell, drinking was still illegal for him. And, looking around their shitty, rundown apartment, it seems as if they don't have a lot to live for, but they were still immature, stupid kids. Shouldn't chasing down a crazy psychopathic madman with a crazy murdering notebook be the jobs of middle-aged men who already lived out half their lives and have already experienced marriage and child-raising and whatever other shit adults experienced?

"Matt," Mello's deep, somewhat raspy voice snapped the redhead out of the trance he was stuck in, "'the hell are you thinking about?"

Matt looked up from staring blankly at the blinding screen of his game, and stared at his blonde best friend, lover…occasional sex-buddy? Mello was carrying a chipped cup filled with hot chocolate, having just emerged from their shitty, run-down kitchen and he was glaring slightly. And suddenly, Matt realized just how small and crappy their tiny apartment really was, how broken that plastic mug Mello was holding really seemed, how he didn't just want to be Mello's occasional sex-buddy, and how much he really didn't just want to die yet.

Mello looked slightly unnerved at the silence that filled the room and the intensity of Matt's stare and asked suspiciously, "…what?"

Matt pulled out a cigarette, lit it and took a long drag (while ignoring Mello's indignant cry of not wanting lung-cancer) before putting down his DS, standing up and taking hold of the blonde's hand. "Let's go out today."

Mello blinked dumbly. "What?"

"We're going out today," Matt repeated with finality in his voice. Usually, he wouldn't dare to boss Mello around, but today was different. Today could be the last day for anything, tomorrow could end their lives, but right now they have today. And today is all Matt needs.

Mello growled and wrenched his hand away from Matt. "Like hell we are," he spat. "We have more important things we should be doing. Does Misa Amane ring any bells to you?"

Matt decided to be conveniently deaf at this point and took the (chipped, ugly) mug from the ex-Mafia's hands before plopping it carelessly on their wobbly, wooden table. He headed for the door, swiping his wallet and keys from the table next to the entrance, all the while holding Mello's wrist.

"Matt! What the fuck!" Mello screeched as the door slammed behind them. "Fuck…stop!"

The gamer paused on the descent down the stairs and looked back at the steaming blonde. "What?" The redhead smoothed his tone to make it seem carefree and happy, though his tightened muscles and jittery nerves told another story altogether. However, the furrow between Mello's brows made him relax just a bit. The blonde always seemed to have that effect on him.

"Where the hell are we going?" Mello asked, and added almost as an afterthought, "and why the sudden need to go out?"

Matt shrugged lightly and twined their fingers together. Even through two layers of leather, he could still feel the burning heat of Mello's skin. With a small smile, he realized that he could just stand here, holding Mello's hand forever and ever and ever and be extremely happy. "I dunno. I just realized that we never actually hung out and just suddenly wanted to." At Mello's hard stare, Matt added: "Is that so wrong, Mels?"

Mello continued glaring and Matt just grinned sheepishly at the blonde. Finally, Mello sighed and scratched at his mussed up hair with his free hand. "I guess it's alright…as long as we're not out for too long."

"We won't be," Matt practically chirped in glee. "I promise!"

"And we have to be extremely careful." Mello continued, his voice become softer and softer with each syllable, and Matt's heart began plummeting with each word that escaped from the blonde's soft, smooth, pink-tinted lips. "We have to be careful not to be caught on camera and we have to cover our faces." Without saying it, Matt could hear the words Kira's after us Kira's gonna get us Kira's everywhere Kira Kira Kira racing around Mello's head over and over and he realized again that he didn't want to die like this.

"Alright." He simply replied, and Mello shot him a light smirk before reaching for his goggles which were hanging from his neck and snapping them properly on his face.

"There we go." The blonde said, before reaching for a pair of sunglasses that resided in one of the many pockets of the leather jacket hanging off his skinny frame. Matt took the time to take in everything that was Mello. He looked at how the blonde strands of hair seemed to twine around each other, how the scar that decorated the left side of Mello's face made him seem more manly yet delicate, how his long fingers seemed to tumble over each other as they struggled to zip up his jacket, how his lips seemed to mold together as he mouthed voiceless words, how his blue eyes glistened like ice and cut like a dagger while his long, dark eyelashes made the two orbs look softer, and how much Matt would miss all this.

He should've spent more time simply enjoying Mello's presence rather than playing games and doing other things that seemed ridiculously pointless now, Matt realized rather belatedly. Funny how time seemed to go by so much quicker now that the possibility of death breathed down their necks. And it was even more hilarious how Matt didn't notice any of these tiny, miniscule things that made up Mello until it was almost too late.

"Mello…" The name rolled off his tongue before he could reel it back in, and Mello, finally finished with zipping up his jacket snapped, "I'm ready! I'm ready; sheesh, stop rushing me."

"No, take your time, slow down, stop hurrying; just let me stand here and watch you and love you," Matt wanted to say, but the words wouldn't come out, and he painfully swallowed them. They burned down his throat like liquid acid, and he realized that that was another moment he lost.

"Let's go," Mello said impatiently when Matt just continued standing there, staring at him. Matt grinned, even though the curve of his lips felt foreign and fake and wrong, and lead the way down the spiraling stairs and out into the foggy evening.

As they walked along the crowded streets of Japan, Matt couldn't help the thoughts of death and dying from circling around in his mind, and it continued weighing him down.

"Matt," Mello finally said after walking around in utter silence for a while. "What the hell's wrong with you?"

Matt looked up and blinked behind his goggles. A "Huh?" managed to get past his lips, and Mello pressed his lips together. Matt realized that he loved that look on Mello as well. He loved every look on Mello, now that he thought about it.

"What the hell's wrong?" Mello asked again, exasperation coloring his tone this time. "You're the one who suggested going out, and now you're going deaf on me? What the hell's bothering you?"

Matt thought about that question and wanted to say everything, but instead said "Nothing" while smiling and gently rubbing the inside of Mello's wrist. The blonde scowled and Matt's heart fluttered. "Is there anything you wanna do, Mels?"

"Hmph," Mello snorted before reaching into his pocket and fishing out a chocolate bar. Matt watched affectionately as the blonde ripped open the wrapping and took a hasty bite out of the milky sweet. "Stop staring at me like that…" The blonde mumbled after noticing the loving gaze Matt gave him. "And you decide…"

Matt smiled and nodded and filed away Mello's blushing and scowling face away into the recesses of his memories.

-x-

It was aimless wandering that led them there. They were both full from the dinner they had (burgers and fries and coke because they were basically broke and can't afford anything better) and it was almost one in the morning. The evening was spent window-shopping on Mello's part, and soaking in the blonde's presence on Matt's part. The way Mello walked, the way he talked, the way his lips curved either upwards or downwards, the tiny dimple that appeared on the right side of the blonde's cheek when he was smirking or smiling, the way his hair was tossed around in the wind, the way he cursed out at the weather, the food, the people around them, Matt; everything seemed so new yet so old and Matt thought with a tired grin that he wouldn't mind doing this again and again with Mello.

Now, at 12:56 AM, Matt sat on a bench in the subway station with Mello leaned against him tiredly. It was dark with lights casting a yellow glow around, and it was empty save them and one other balding, middle-aged man standing on the far right side of the station. The blonde's head fit the crook of his shoulders perfectly, and Matt let his head hit the wall behind him with a dull thud.

"Hm," the hummed softly. Mello looked up and with a jolt, Matt realized that the blonde didn't look the least bit tired, rather, he looked alert. Mello smirked lopsidedly at the redhead, and Matt grinned back in reply. "So did you enjoy today?"

Mello chuckled before allowing his head to drop back down in the resting place he found in Matt's shoulders. "Yeah," he mumbled while gesturing to the bags of chocolate that sat beside him on the bench. "It was alright."

"Just alright?" Matt asked, tone dropping down to a whisper and laced with exhaustion.

"Mm…" Mello murmured back just as softly before raising his head off of Matt's shoulder. The redhead blinked blearily at the blonde and thought of how incompletely he felt at the moment, without the weight of Mello's head resting heavily on him. "Maybe we should go. You look like you're about to collapse."

Matt laughed lightly and noticed the middle-aged man walking back and forth agitatedly in the corner of his eye. "Let's just sit here for a few more minutes, Mels." He tugged on the blonde's wrist lightly before Mello let the scowl melt from his face and curled up against Matt once more.

Matt thought about how perfect this felt, how wonderful it felt to have Mello's heat against him and how much he just wanted to spend the rest of his life like this. In a dark, damp and cold subway station with Mello sitting peacefully next to him.

-x-

"Don't," Mello grumbled from under a cocoon of blankets, bundled up and shielded from the cold that crept through the windows and into their tiny, shitty little apartment.

Matt decided to listen to Mello just this once, and puts down his cigarette and lighter on the dresser before cuddling under the blankets with Mello.

They lay there for minutes, hours, just listening to each other breathe. Matt traced invisible patterns on Mello's skin, and he couldn't help but think about how much he'll miss all this when it's gone. Mello hummed and stuffed his head into his pillow, his naked form shivering lightly as Matt's fingers continued to trace invisible picture into his skin.

"You should sleep," Mello said, voice muffled from the stiff pillow in his face. "Big day tomorrow."

Matt paused and thought about how much he didn't want to die and how much he didn't want to see Mello die and all the things they had to live for and how it couldn't possibly end like this and will anyone cry when we die?

"Mels…" Matt whispered, his voice blending in perfectly with the stark silence that engulfed them, but even the darkness that blanketed them couldn't hide the urgency in his voice. Mello shuffled around before turning over to face Matt, and the redhead realized again how pretty Mello's eyes were and how he wished he had more time to just sit here and enjoy them. "Mello…"

"…what is it?"

Matt blinked and realized that his eyes were slightly wet at the corners, but just slightly. And before he could stop them, the words he'd been holding back all day just burst forth like water spilling from a dam and he probably won't even remember what he said later, but all they had was right now, and while right now wasn't all Matt needed (wanted), it was all he had and he would use it wisely.

"Once we're done this mission, let's move to France. Maybe the countryside. We can have acres and acres of land and we'll never have to come back to this shithole again. We'll get a house, maybe a bungalow since it'll just be the two of us, and maybe a dog. We'll get a Golden Retriever and we'll name him Kirby and he'll be the most loyal dog ever. The bungalow will be yellow, and we'll also have a white picket fence like the ones in bad eighties sitcoms, and we'll spend our Saturdays sitting on a porch drinking lemonade and eating chocolate and go to Church on Sundays. We'll take turn shoveling the snow in the winter, and we'll hang up Christmas lights during the Christmas season. We'll go apple-picking in the spring, and we'll lie around doing nothing during the summers. At night, we'll make love until we both collapse from exhaustion and we'll both die from old age while lying in each other's arms…and we'll be happy."

Mello blinked when Matt was finished, and Matt realized that he actually wanted all that, really, really, really badly. He didn't want to die without having experienced all the things he just listed. He wanted to live a long and carefree life with Mello by his side. He realized that he hardly knew Mello, he only knew a blonde as a hot-tempered young man with an affinity for chocolate, but he wanted to spend to rest of forever learning about the blonde.

He just wasn't ready to die.

"Matty…" Mello whispered, and Matt gave the blonde a teary smile when he thought again of how perfect the older man really was, with his blonde hair tussled around his head and spread out on the pillow like a halo and the moon slithering through their dusty window and lighting up his blue eyes.

"Mello…" Matt whispered, leaning down and pressing his head into the blonde's collarbone. "I don't want to die and I don't want you to die either." And though he felt like a coward, he continued on talking, "Let's not — let's not go on with it tomorrow. Let's just run away somewhere, anywhere…"

Mello took in a deep breath and Matt closed his eyes and just drank in his presence. "You know I can't do that…" Mello's deep voice rumbled and Matt pressed his face closer to that heat that emanated from the blonde. "I want to. Believe me, Matty…but I can't."

Matt's heart fluttered uncomfortably, and he leaned back up and stared down at Mello. "I wanna be with you…"

"You are with me, Matt," Mello replied back immediately, and Matt pressed his thumb to Mello's lips before tracing every sharp contour on the blonde's face, storing it away in his memories.

Matt hummed lightly, before replying: "No. I want to be something more with you." Mello blinked questioningly, and Matt bit his lip. The redhead reached down to his pants and fiddled around before producing a small, metal keychain.

"Marry me."

The request was stated in a simple tone, though the pounding of Matt's heart and the fluttering in his stomach told another story. When Mello just lay there in silence, gaping at him, Matt realized how idiotic this whole thing was. Here he was, proposing with a stupid, shitty metal keychain when there was a ninety-nine percent chance that they would both end up dead the next day anyways, and—

"…yes."

Matt bit his lip and felt the fluttering in his stomach intensify. Mello smiled shakily at the younger man, and Matt noticed again with frightening clarity, the tiny little dimple that decorated the right side of Mello's cheek, before Mello's left hand was shoved into his face. Matt gulped, and placed the makeshift-ring daintily on the blonde's ring finger. Mello flexed his hand, and ignored the way the keychain precariously slid down his finger as it was much too big for his slender digit, and just gave Matt a heartfelt smile.

"Perfect…"

Matt grinned back, though his lower lip wobbled and his eyes stung, and lay back down on top of his new fiancé. He closed his eyes, and thought of how wonderful this moment felt, with their bodies pressed close to each other and the beating of their hearts synchronized and Mello whispering promises to yellow bungalows and Christmas lights and acres and acres of land and the metal keychain tinkling lightly in the dark.

And Matt thought with a light jolt, that tomorrows didn't matter anymore, when all they had was right now.

-x-

A/N: My first Death Note fanfic…hell, my first fanfic in months. So I'm pretty rusty… ;P

I apologize for the OOC-ness, and how everything was so ridiculously rushed. I was just rewatching Death Note, and I realized just how young Matt and Mello and everybody actually were, and how they probably were absolutely terrified for their lives. I mean, Matt may have put up a tough front, but just the prospect of death must have scared him to at least some degree.

I dunno, maybe it's just me overthinking, but I just had to write this. :)

I hope you all enjoyed! Review? :3

-OSE

PS. The song 'Safe & Sound' by Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars just reminds me of Matt and Mello so much! And I don't know why! D: Not that it's a bad thing. ;D