"How did it get so ugly, Matty?" Mello asked softly from near the stereo. "We meet up again after all this time and all you can talk about is money."
"Because if this isn't about money, then it's about friendship and it patently isn't that." Matt tore his eyes away from the Mafioso and hunted for his cigarettes. "You were supposed to call me."
Mello, chapter 05, Men of Violence
"You are negotiating with dangerous men?" Matt considered those whom he had already met. He shuddered to think about the depths of violence that Mello was having to scale.
"Oh yes." Mello crossed the distance between them. "A really dangerous man." He leaned over the counter his gaze softening. "You asked me why I brought you here. Maybe it's because I know myself now to be so far beyond redemption that there is no absolution."
Matt and Mello, chapter 05, Men of Violence
Mello ran down the stairway, as if speed and exertion alone could wash the emotion from his soul. His body was tingling, his mind was screaming. It was bigger and greater than anything that he could contain. He had kissed Mail Jeevas. Willingly and of his own violition, he had kissed the one person who could infiltrate his celebracy. He paused on a landing and paced back and forth. He could go back now. He could end this. Send him home. Kill him. Kiss him again. He could still feel the taste of him! It was there. It was insidious. It was everywhere.
Chapter 6, Intoxication
"What's going on, Mell? What am I doing here? Am I like your pet hacker or something?"
Matt. Chapter 7, A Demon In My View.
The smoke was already clearing and the building was in ruins. Mello replaced the gas-mask as he sprinted away, jolting as it hurt where it touched, but he was at the brickwork. He climbed and jumped the remaining few feet, landing with feline precision. Something was wrong, something was badly wrong, but the adrenaline was high and the world still in black and white, slow motion. He had all the time in the world. It was almost euphoric. He could hear someone screaming in pain, but there was nothing he could do for them. It was every man for himself, as he charged through the flames, leaping over debris, out into the smoke-infested wasteland of the valley beyond. It was only out there, still clutching his phone to himself and finally failing to the protests of his lungs, that he realised he could still hear the screaming. Only then did it occur to him that he was the one screaming and that his body was a riot of agonising pain. But Mello still had the 'phone and there was someone out there in the City of Angels who did actually care if he lived or died. He lifted off the gas-mask, throwing it aside as he dropped to the blessed coolness of the earth, and he made the call.
Chapter 9- The deciding factor.
Matt sighed. "I never wanted to be L. But I do want to help you."
Matt, chapter 14, Layers of Healing.
"No, I'm not gay, but I liked what we did earlier. That's not a crime, is it?"
"Actually, yes." Matt muttered. "If you're a Catholic."
Chapter 17, Compassion
"Clever." Mello grinned. "Show me one more time." He caught Matt's wrists before they could leave their position behind him and fastened the handcuffs around them again. Mello pressed himself against those trapped hands, rubbing his groin into them. A gloved hand unhooked the keychain, throwing it across the room, then continued around to pull down Matt's jeans and boxer shorts. "Show me, Matty. How are you escaping now?"
Matt moaned. "You're assuming that I want to escape now."
Chapter 18, His Private Preserve
Their eyes locked in contact and Mello caught an arm. With a sinking sense of inevitability, Matt let him push up the sleeve knowing what he would find. His forearm was striped with the parallel scars of healing cuts, none so deep that he could bleed to death, none less than a week old. Those from a month ago were almost faded. Matt turned his head away, not wanting to face the look in Mello's eyes anymore. Mello nodded. "It was me coming back."
"No." Matt whispered. He didn't add, 'it was you going away', but Mello already knew with a instinctual deduction bordering on presentience. Matt knew that he knew. They had been second and third in genius at Wammy's House and this was the downside of their intelligence. "I'm sorry."
Chapter 19-The Deepest Cut
"I've got a Mafioso draping tinsel in perfect loops on the branches of my new Christmas tree." Matt grinned. "It's a good job I love the surreal."
Matt, chapter 20, The Tender Mercies.
"I keep my chocolate, you keep your cigarettes. We both die slowly and horribly, but it's better than quickly and tragically. I need you too much for you to go losing to the inner ninjas. I'm going to the shop."
Mello- chapter 22- Concerning Ninjas.
Mello's gaze flickered to the side. He spoke gruffly, "Say the word and I'll go without the need for the army."
Matt bowed his head behind Mello's shoulder, though his arms remained in place. She thought he was thinking about it, gathering his courage for the sensible solution, but instead there was a soft chortle. "Matty!" He didn't reply. He merely straightened and reached across to kiss Mello's cheek. His hand found the blond's and held it. Mello squeezed his hand in return and the message was conveyed loud and clear.
Chapter 23- That was then, this is now.
Mello's gaze took in those nasty lacerations again and he frowned, wanting them healed and gone. They felt like accusation or rebellion and Mello didn't like either interpretation.
Chapter 25, An Ordinary Christmas.
Matt's eyes were closed, a handprint crimson against his alabaster cheek; the bruise on the other looking too dark in the half-light. Mello had to admit that the sight of it now caused no guilt, only a hardening against the leather of his own flies, discomfort now moving into the realms of personal pain. It was alright. He didn't mind a little pain. He wanted to devour the pale redhead on the table, tear him to pieces and eat him up; but a little part of Mello's mind called out urgently that there was responsibility here too. He had to hold back or else risk unacceptable injury. Matt's eyes opened and the look he gave Mello wiped that reserve from his mind. He had to have him.
Chapter 25, An Ordinary Christmas.
Mello needed intellectual stimulation. Above everything else, that's what Mello valued. Matt swallowed. He could do that. Mello would always out-manoeuvre him on mindgames, but Matt knew he could come close enough for it to at least look like a race. As long as he spent the time they had apart cramming information and revising Mello's favourite theories and writers, then he might even beat him occasionally. Matt froze. No, never, ever beat him. It was a delicate balance that held the twin pitfalls of a rivalry on one side and desertion on the other. He had to be just clever enough to engage and just stupid enough to fail. Matt's mouth went dry, but it was an old game. He'd done it for years.
Chapter 26- In the Wide Wastes.