"You have got to be joking!" Matt glared at the hapless woman behind the counter. "None at all?" She looked slightly supercilious as she shook her head. Looking as though he was going to punch someone or something, he turned and stomped back, past the leather-clad man leaning in the doorway. "Fuck shit, the bastard, fucking..." He slammed his bag down onto the polished floor outside and stood glaring at the flight information board.
Mello glanced at him, then continued into the airport newsagents. His quick surveyance took in the indigestion tablets, the headache pills, the boiled sweets and batteries. His tone was tight, a little too reserved for how he wanted to be asking the question.
"So you have nothing at all? Patches? Lozenges? Those little capsule things you dissolve in your mouth?" He was attempting to be sympathetic, but it came out as a glare anyway. The assistant was adamant that there was nothing like that in her shop. "Is there a chemists? Drugstore? Anywhere we can buy nicotine replacement things?"
"Ask at information. Don't think so." Despite feeling like the victim here, the woman was more wary now. Though quieter, this man seemed worse than the first. "No smoking in the airport."
"A patch isn't smoking." Mello turned on his heels. "Fuck it." He caught up with Matt. "There's nothing here, you're going to have to go without."
"I can't be the only person in the fucking world that smokes! What bastard fuckwit came up with the idea of not having any bloody..."
"They weren't actually designed just to keep you going between cigarettes. They are supposed to be used to give up." Mello had that strange, unfamiliar sensation of taking his life into his hands challenging Matt on this one. He didn't like it. "You're just going to have to live with it."
"Fuck you." Matt yanked up his bag and marched off towards their gate. Their flight was being called. He felt like he was walking to his doom, into some great unimaginable future, where tortuous evils awaited. This was going to be a long time without a cigarette. He'd managed it before. Twelve hours with NicQuitin slowly releasing nicotine through the lozenge under his tongue. He'd got through half of the packet before they'd landed. Now he had to do it cold turkey.
Mello caught him up, keeping pace. The blond's head was down and his features murderous. There was so much uncertainty, which always made him antsy. As with many other negative emotions, antsy always became transmuted into anger. Near was in New York and Mello hated the thought that he was going to need information from him. Anger tripped more closely into rage. Kira had got away once before and was out there somewhere, gloating over it no doubt. Rage nudged closer to fury. Now he'd have to fly towards all of that with Matt acting like a brat deprived of his toys.
They had reached the gates. Matt slapped down their boarding passes, staring off towards the top of the wall. Mello, arms folded, glowered at the floor. They were waved through with the command that they hurry. While neither broke into a run, their mutual wrath-fuelled pace was swift enough to see them onto the plane within a minute.
The cheery welcome of the stewardess was silenced with stony looks. They found their seats, stashed the bags and sat down. They were just in time for the safety announcements about fastening their seatbelts until the light was extinguished. They were reminded that this was a no smoking flight. Even Mello thought that they went on about that a little too long. He glanced at Matt and wondered if his lover was going to cry.
"I'll share my chocolate with you." Mello heard the words from his own mouth and stopped in surprise. He hadn't remembered thinking that before speaking. Beside him, Matt's eyes widened in shock and he just stared at Mello. Blinking, the blond shrugged dismissively. "The dark chocolate might help."
"Thank you." Matt surrepticiously linked his little finger around Mello's. "I'm sorry for kicking off." He bowed his head. "I'll shut up about it now."
Mello bit back a 'good' and, true to his word, reached down into his carry on and extracted a bar of his favourite brand of dark chocolate. Costing him more than he would have deigned to let on, he thrust it onto Matt's lap, then turned to gaze out of the window. He had an identical bar for himself already opened and bit into it with an audible snap.
Beneath their feet, the vibrations of the craft increased and they began the taxi forward. Absently, Mello's ring finger lightly stroked Matt's hand, hidden down in the gap where their thighs met. It seemed an age before they were finally on the runway, speeding towards the ascent. There was a brief moment of almost childlike exhilaration as they took to the air, soon lost in the complacency of steady flight.
Watching the world disappearing into a surreal cloudscape, Mello made his plans. They were odious. A few months ago, with the Death Note in his possession, he could have started World War Three and now he was reduced to hunting down Near. It was beneath him.
"Fuck..." Matt hissed, obvious pain in his voice. He'd flinched but not exactly moved his hand. Teeth gritted and eyes flickering, his vision was trained on the back of the seat in front. Mello realised that he'd just nearly broken his lover's little finger. Moreover, Matt didn't know if that was a precursor to some sadistic whim of Mello's. The redhead exhaled sharply as his hand was released, then sucked deeply on the stinging digit.
"I didn't mean to do that." Mello whispered.
"'kay." Matt took his Gameboy Micro out of his pocket and switched it on. He had been debating sleeping, on the basis that this nightmare would be over more quickly then. But he doubted that he could. He had slept enough the night before, the plane was too noisy and he was too wound up. So far, his one saving grace had been the chocolate. Normally he had to be in a chocolate mood to enjoy it and even then rarely had any, Mello tending to have the monopoly on any spare supplies. He'd only eaten a single square so far, letting its dusky sweetness melt on his tongue, but it was doing its job. It hit the back of his throat in a way that was almost like a smoke and it tasted like Mello. The sooner they were out of this, head to head with Kira in a place where he could light a cigarette, the better. "'s ok."
Mello glanced back. There had been such a pause between the first and last of Matt's reassurances that he wondered if they were even related. He angrily shifted position and went back to considering his options. But he had done that constantly over the innumerable weeks since he'd first escaped an exploded building and found his way back to his Matt. There was no more data, no more nuances and deliberations left unexamined. All roads led to Near and they were on one.