I do not own Death Note.

Author's Notes:

1) This is my first time ever writing Matt and Mello. Hopefully they are both in character, if not, please let me know. I took some liberties with Matt's character as he was only in (I believe) two episodes. I haven't read the manga, so I only have the anime and fanfictions to go off of for him. Please feel free to tell me if anything seems out of place.

2) I'm not exactly sure how much time elapsed between the night Mello blew up the building and when he resurfaced to confront Near. For the purpose of this story it's going to be about two weeks.

3) I'm not a doctor and my medical knowledge is limited, so feel free to correct me on any medical inaccuracies.

Warnings: There is some violence, a few gruesome details, the mentions of sexual activity, and the implied sexual coercion of a character in this chapter.

On with the story.

Matt watched in horror from a safe distance as the building that currently housed his lover went up in smoke. His voice vanished in his throat, the only sound that could escape being a weak croak. Every fond memory played behind his eyes along with the nagging realistic portion of his brain that relayed the slim probability of Mello's survival.

He swallowed the collected saliva and mashed the sole of his shoe onto the pedal. The vehicle sped through the L.A. streets, bothering neither for speed limits nor pedestrians. The image of Mello's burning flesh replayed through his head. Matt bit his lip in an attempt to push the thoughts away. His teeth broke the skin and that aversive, iron taste filled his mouth. The redhead took a deep breath and directed the car towards the direction of the black smoke.

Upon reaching the destination Matt leapt from the car and dashed towards the nearest entrance. The flames and heavy smoke warned his rational mind how dangerous it was to enter a slowly collapsing building. The familiar sounds of sirens filled the air, revealing to Matt just how little time he had to complete his mission.

He kicked down the door that barely hung on by its melted hinges. A rush of smoke passed through the new opening, sending the redhead into a coughing fit. With the goggles in place, protecting his eyes from any possible flying dirt or metal, he stepped through the entrance that stood menacing yet inviting like a hell mouth. The temperature rose a good thirty degrees from the cool evening air that had spoiled him.

The ceiling of the first floor had already collapsed providing him with unneeded obstacles. He carefully, yet quickly stepped over the debris, keeping both eyes out for his beloved. His heart pounded with each step all while that annoying voice in his head lectured that Mello was gone and he needed to save himself from his own demise.

Mello had given him strict orders to leave him and carry on with the investigation were anything to happen. Matt agreed to Mello's insane scheme, but for now his heart negated every rational argument his mind produced. All he could see was a future without the only person who ever loved him.

The striped-clad man used his arms to protect his face from any dangers that could be awaiting him inside that hazard trap. There was the chance that several mafia members could mistake his shadow for a cop and shoot him before he even reached their field of vision. Then there was the even greater possibility that Mello was already dead. Matt placed a hand over his mouth and pushed those thoughts far away. Something inside told him that the blond was still alive somewhere in that condemned building. He would spare that hotheaded moron from Hell for tonight.

Matt carefully navigated the death trap. He nearly tripped over fallen debris, but caught his balance just in time. He took a deep breath and scanned the area for any sign of life. A lump lying beneath a pile of rubble caught his eye. Matt hurried over and gasped at the face of a man he had been introduced to two weeks prior. Matt forgot his name, but knew he was once one of Mello's underlings. Gathered from the puddle of blood surrounding the victim's head along with the painful angle his neck was bent it was apparent he had already passed.

That discovery only hurried Matt's efforts. He could only hope that the flames that resulted from the bomb had not claimed Mello leaving him victim to the flames of the next world.

It became harder to breathe as the heat suffocated the skinny man. Matt fanned himself with his sweating hand as his eyes surveyed the area closer. The first corpse gave him little hope, but an even greater reason to believe Mello was dead.

A glistening of silver caught Matt's shielded eyes. He squinted to see through the blur produced by the leaping flames. He rushed over and gasped as he recognized the large "M" carved into the barrel of that gun he had become accustomed to since his reunion with Mello. Matt's heart jumped at the sight of that familiar arm limply sticking out from behind a large collection of fallen metal. Matt hurried around the obstacle and plopped down on his knees beside his best friend.

The right side of Mello's face, neck, and arm were ablaze. Matt frantically searched around for anything that could serve him. He hurried over to the corpse of another dead mafia member that lay a few feet down and ripped the coat from his body. Matt fiercely swung at the flames. He continued this motion until the fire subsided.

Matt knelt down beside Mello, staring at the severely injured body, wondering how he should go about moving the other male. The leather-clad boy's chest lightly rose and fell, the breathing seemed labored, but for the moment it was a good sign.

The sirens were getting closer. Matt let out a swear then, grateful that Mello was still unconscious, grabbed the blond and hoisted him over his shoulder. Mello hung limply, his arms swaying as Matt dashed from the building. Flaming debris fell towards Matt, barely missing him several times. In the entirety of his life, Matt was not once praised for his lack of athletic abilities, but at the moment his body found hidden strength and he refused to stop running until they were safely away from the collapsing building.

Matt tossed Mello into the backseat of his car. He sloppily fastened the seatbelt about his friend who was lying on his side upon the leather seats. Mello emitted a painful moan and slightly shifted, but did not wake. Matt released a sigh of relief then hurried over to the driver's seat.

With the speed of a fury, Matt raced to the hospital. It was not the closest, or even the one with the best reputation. No, he needed to go to the only surgeon who Mello's life could be trusted with.

Matt arrived at the small hospital reserved for those who had exceeding amounts of wealth, or other things of great value to offer. To the rest of society it was a mere clinic, but to those in the mafia, it was the one place their secrets were safe. The doctors were amazing, but the fee was steep.

The redhead nearly broke the seatbelt while freeing his friend's body. Mello was tossed over Matt's shoulder again and he ran towards the darkened building. He banged on the locked glass doors. The person watching the monitors recognized the unconscious form belonging Mello and allowed Matt entrance. Matt panted as he approached the desk. A woman in a white nurse's gown greeted them with a scowl.

"What happened?" she asked.

"Explosion," Matt rasped. "Please, is Dr. Benson here?"

She nodded and beckoned for him to follow. The further inside the building they went, the more obvious it became of activity. They had to keep up the appearance of it being a clinic that closed at five, so only the lower levels were allowed to display electricity after hours.

The nurse unlocked a door that led to what appeared to be a normal surgical room. She assisted Matt with placing Mello on the bed. He was thankfully still out cold. The nurse injected an IV into Mello's arm then announced her leave to retrieve the doctor.

Matt stood by Mello's side. He pushed Mello's unsigned hairs from the burnt flesh. He had to bite his lip to hold back the urge to vomit at the gruesome sight. It was painful to look upon the other and Matt knew that Mello would be in a world of pain when he finally regained consciousness. He only hoped that this doctor was as good as his reputation. Morphine was expensive, but Matt was willing to go to any lengths to obtain the necessary sums.

"Must've been quite an explosion," a deep voice said causing Matt to jump. He spun around to stare into the face of the creepiest man he had ever set eyes upon.

Matt had the misfortune of meeting Dr. Benson once before, and at that time he seemed off, for he kept mentioning to Matt how he deserved so much better than Mello. Matt smiled and nodded just to be polite, but as soon as Mello emerged from the hospital room, Matt stayed by his side until they entered the safety of the outside world once more. The shadows and late hour did little to portray the surgeon in a brighter light.

Benson stepped into the dim light with that infamous grin on his face. His lips were thin and his oversized teeth occupied the majority of his smile. The beady eyes behind those thick-rimmed glasses along with the graying black hairs that framed his shaggy face gave Matt a reason to shiver. However, despite his appearance, he was the only one who had a remote chance of rescuing Mello.

"Please, Dr. Benson, do whatever you have to to save him," Matt begged, stepping closer.

Benson chuckled which caused a chill to creep down Matt's back. He reached out a hand and clamped those skeleton thin fingers over the redhead's shoulder.

"I do whatever I can for my patients," Dr. Benson replied. "I'll make him good as new."

"Thank you," Matt said short of breath. "Thank you so much."

Benson laughed and moved away. He stepped towards his patient and smiled at the boy's wounds. He washed and sterilized his hands then applied the latex gloves. He grabbed the sheers and snipped the leather vest. Some of Mello's charred skin ripped away with the leather causing Matt to wince.

"You don't have to watch," Benson said looking over his shoulder.

Matt nodded and turned away. His eyes were red and puffy from trying to keep the tears from falling. He could not cry for Mello, not while he still had a chance. Though he was not a religious person Matt whispered a quick prayer for his lover.

After a few minutes of examining the injuries Benson moved towards the redhead. Matt turned to meet the doctor's smile with a serious frown.

"Those burns are nasty," Benson said with a chuckle.

Matt glanced up at the doctor. He had to suppress the urge to punch that man for laughing at the most inappropriate time. He swallowed the anger allowing only the pain and desperation to seep into his words. "But you can save him?" he asked.

Benson placed one bony finger and thumb beneath his chin. "Yes, I suppose it is possible," he said. "That is if you're willing to pay."

Matt nodded furiously. "Yes, as much as you want, just please save him."

Benson's eyebrow lifted. "That is an interesting offer you make," he said with that creepy laugh. He placed a hand on each of Matt's shoulders causing the younger man to tremble. "But I know how hard it is to come by that much money."

Matt shook his head. "It's no problem. I will do anything I can to get it for you. I don't care how much."

Benson tilted his head to the side. "Not to mention the extra fee for keeping his business in the mafia a secret." That sinister smirk reappeared. "And what was that about kidnapping the Japanese police chief's daughter?"

"How—how do you know about that?" Matt gasped, his lower lip quivering.

"I get loads of information from my patients each day," Benson revealed. "And your expression now just confirmed it." He turned his back towards Matt. "Yes, I do think that he is a high priority on Kira's list right now."

"But you honestly don't care about that," Matt pleaded.

Benson's smirk increased. "Aiding a wanted criminal can be a crime itself," he answered. "Not to mention how much Kira would pay to learn Mello's real name."

"But you don't know," Matt argued.

"I have my sources," Benson retorted with a cackle. "You see, Matt," the way he spoke Matt's name made the mentioned gag. "Silence can be quite expensive when it's of the utmost importance."

"But you can't, I mean you wouldn't really tell anyone," Matt said on the verge of tears. "I came to you to save him. Why are you doing this?"

"I never liked that prick," Benson snapped, taking a glimpse at his patient. The vitals were weak, but constant, giving Benson the time he needed to complete his negotiation. He turned back to Matt. "But I am willing to save him and keep my mouth shut…" he trailed off giving Matt a creepy stare. "But that's all up to you."

"I said I'd get you the money," Matt replied, the rage starting to seep into his voice. "One way or another."

Benson laughed. "It's not your money I want," he said caressing Matt's cheek. "No, I want something more." He leaned forward and whispered into Matt's ear. "I meant it when I said you could do so much better than him."

Matt's eyes narrowed and he pushed Benson off of him. "Never!" he hissed.

"Fine," Benson said throwing his arms up in the air. "I'll just leak the information to Kira's followers." Matt audibly growled at this. Benson turned around and clamped his fingers over his chin. "Then again, I think I might like to see him die slowly of infection."

"You're evil," Matt cried.

"Maybe," Benson laughed. "But you knew the payment here was heavy." He placed a hand on Matt's shoulder and said, "If you like you can take him elsewhere."

Matt looked away, momentarily stunned speechless. That was not an option as it was too obvious that the police were checking hospital records for anyone matching Mello's description who checked in within the past hour. The fact that he suffered burn wounds would just be announcing themselves to the world.

"Fine," Matt relented. He had to keep himself from tearing up. He could only hope that Mello could understand and forgive him. The tears dried before falling and stern eyes met with Benson's smirking ones. He pointed his slightly trembling index finger at the doctor and barked, "But you better fix him good."

"Yes, I will," Benson said reaching for the hem of Matt's shirt. He began to tug it up when Matt smacked his hands away.

"You save him first THEN you can have your payment," Matt snapped. "And he better be back to one-hundred percent when you're done."

Benson chuckled. "You drive a hard bargain, but agreed." He held up a finger to Matt's face. "But if you try and go back on your word, I'll inject him with a deadly substance. Understood?"

Matt nodded. As Benson turned to begin his work on Mello, Matt stepped outside and sunk to the ground. The tears that he fought back for the duration of his bartering with Benson slipped past his defenses. They collected at the bottom of his goggles. All those years of holding back the display of pain had finally reached the breaking point. His hands trembled and he prayed that Mello would forgive him for what he had to do.

Benson kept true to his word and within three hours time Mello was spared from all infections and the burns cared for. He would require dressings and medication for the pain for a while, but in all he would survive. His appearance, however, was not as lucky. The skin had already begun to scar, and unless Mello was willing to undergo plastic surgery it would stay that way. Matt knew that Mello would be opposed to wasting more time on cosmetic surgery, and it would be harder to keep his form of payment from Mello with him in a more coherent state.

While Mello recovered in a world of morphine, Matt kept his end of the bargain. He felt so dirty and that surgeon treated him like an insignificant whore, but he knew that Benson would fulfill his threat if he backed out. The whole time Matt internally apologized to Mello, hoping that Mello would never inquire how he retrieved the funds for the operation.

As they were about to leave Benson stepped forward planted a kiss on the top of Matt's head. He said in that stomach-churning voice, "If you ever realize that you deserve better, you can come back to me, precious."

Matt jerked away from Benson's hold with Mello securely draped over his shoulder. The medicine would keep him unconscious for a while. The nurse even provided him with a month's worth of painkillers before their departure. Matt knew the blond would be reluctant to take them, but he would have to convince him to do otherwise, or force feed him.

The instant Matt got Mello home he put him to bed. Mello slept soundly despite the fact he nearly met his death that night. Matt cuddled close to Mello and kissed him on the uninjured cheek. Mello was an independent individual, but he would need to rely solely on Matt for the next few weeks.

After making sure Mello would not need him anytime soon, Matt hurried to the bathroom. He took a long shower, leaning against the soiled wall as the water vainly attempted to wash away the redhead's shame. He wept bitterly fearing what Mello would do if he ever found out. He could only hope that Mello would understand that he did it out of love. Matt's stomach churned and he opened his mouth to dispose of half digested contents that had threatened to spill for the past few hours. With his head and throat now stinging Matt turned off the faucet. Beads of lukewarm water dripped down his putrid body. He only wanted to go to sleep and wake up with Mello lying next to him with the evening's events being a mere figment of his unconscious.

Quickly dressing, Matt made his way back to the bedroom that sheltered his love. He sat in a desk chair by the bed, his eyes refusing to part from Mello's fragile body. Matt's heart broke to watch one who was always so strong moaning with every other breath. However, it was that labored rise and fall of Mello's bandaged chest that kept his tears at bay. Ever since Mello's premature departure from the orphanage those many years ago Matt promised himself he would not shed another tear until the whole Kira mess had ended and he could finally make things right with the only person, besides from L, he ever loved. He had already broken that promise once over the course of the evening. All he could do now was shield his tears from Mello when he chose to open his eyes.

Matt watched Mello restlessly sleep until his body could take it no longer. His eyes finally slumped and he fell into a lump on the carpeted floor next to Mello's bed.

Matt woke several hours later to see Mello in a sitting position with his hands folded in his lap. The redhead scrambled to his feet, wincing at the sharp pain in his back. He stretched out the kinks and stood to face the icy left eye belonging to his lover.

"Matt," Mello said weakly.

"Hey, I'm here," Matt said kneeling next to the bed. He gently touched Mello's fingers. Mello squeezed his index and middle finger around Matt's.

"Matt," Mello said in a grave tone. With a hitched breath he turned to Matt with a wide eye. His hand reached up to grasp at the bandage covering his right eye. "Why can't I see out of this eye?" he shrieked.

Matt gasped. The look in Mello's functional eye reminded him of the horror movies they used to sneak into the orphanage. Mello's lips quivered as he repeated his question in a more screeching tone.

"It's—it's just the bandages, I swear," Matt replied. He grasped at Mello's hand and pulled it away from the white cloth. "Don't touch it, your skin has to heal."

"It hurts," Mello said with a heavy gasp. The flesh stung and he jerked away from Matt in a futile attempt to alleviate the pain. Mello gasped for breath again as another wave of pain rushed through his nerves. Mello clenched his fists and leaned tightly against the pillow.

Matt reached for the item on the nightstand. He pulled at the medicine bottle, cursing the childproof lid. Finally the top popped off and two pills fell into Matt's palm. He grabbed the half-empty bottled water lying on the floor and touched Mello's uninjured cheek.

"Mels, please," Matt begged. The familiar voice slightly calmed the blond. "Take your medicine and you'll feel better."

Mello was in too much pain to argue. He swallowed the pills and leaned his head against the pillow once more, waiting for the medication to take effect. Matt soothed Mello's hair, the action helping the other man to regulate his breathing.

Not much time passed before the medicine alleviated the pain. Matt took that as the sign to escape to the kitchen while Mello slept. An hour later he returned with a light broth, something that would be easy for Mello to swallow. Mello glared but allowed Matt to feed him.

Benson suggested that Mello stay in bed for at least a week to give the skin a chance to heal. It was inevitable that the flesh would scar and Matt feared Mello's reaction when he finally saw the permanent distortion to his face. For the time being he was relieved to have his love still alive by his side.

The next two weeks followed a simple routine. Matt would feed and care for Mello, tending to the burns and forcing him to take his medication. At first the pain was so unbearable that there was not much of a resistance. After a few days Mello was ready to head back into the field of catching Kira. It was time for Matt to put his foot down and keep the blond in bed. Mello sulked when he realized he was in no condition to argue with his caregiver. He pouted, all while promising himself that when he regained his strength he would return to his work. Matt agreed if Mello was no longer in danger of reinjuring himself.

By the third week Mello was able to get out of bed and for the most part take care of himself. Matt was still there to make sure he took his medicine. Now that he could freely walk he was not as willing to down the pills, but Matt was not one to easily surrender. They compromised that Matt would allow Mello to do more on his own if he would at least take his medicine without resistance.

Matt stood outside the bathroom the day Mello finally glanced upon his reflection. At first he was stunned to silence to see that disfigurement staring back at him. Mello's rough fingertips caressed the tarnished skin. He always prided himself on his looks and to see them stolen from him and replaced with something so unfamiliar hit him hard.

The blond looked up to see Matt's reflection staring at him. Without making eye contact with the real person Mello asked, "Is it really that bad?"

Matt shook his head. He stepped closer and wrapped his arms around Mello's torso. He leaned his head against the scarred shoulder and whispered, "In all honesty, I think it makes you look sexier."

Mello scoffed at what he thought to be an obvious lie. Matt knew Mello too well for his own good and kissed the burn. Matt turned Mello to face him and for the first time since the night of the explosion their lips met. Mello closed his eyes and pulled his boyfriend closer, grasping at every inch of Matt's beautiful body. He had been denied too long and now that the burns no longer pained him he wanted Matt to worship the scars that he claimed were appealing. Matt was too willing to comply as his lips caressed the wounds that he truly found enhanced Mello's appearance. He was too glad to have Mello alive, not caring if his entire body had been affected. He had feared that he would never have the chance to hold him again, but that fear vanished the second Mello woke up the day following the accident.

Matt helped the stronger male to remove his vest. Those chiseled abs that his memory never forgot were on display for him to stroke. Mello moaned at the feel of his boyfriend's hands gracing his body. He had forgotten how much he enjoyed Matt's touch. Their lips met once more, their tongues too eager to taste the other. Matt's left thumb stroked the burn, memorizing the new feature. After being denied each other for too long the hormones took over and the two made passionate love the rest of the afternoon.

In that moment of euphoria Matt's only desire was to have Mello there with him for the remainder of their existence. He closed his eyes while resting his temple against Mello's chest, listening to the steady rhythm of his heartbeat. The blond had already drifted into slumber and it would not be long until he joined him.

That was when the thought hit the redhead. He turned to take in the image of his lover in his most innocent of states. His lips curved downwards with the realization of just how close he was to losing the only person who mattered to him.

Wanting to lash out at anyone Matt blamed an array of people: Kira, those memories left of the members of the mafia who were supposed to protect Mello, Near, and even L. Like all the Whammy children, Matt had adored L. Now that the obsession of wanting to impress and avenge the late detective nearly stole his Mello from him, Matt found a reason to resent the super genius.

Matt finally realized that Mello had no intentions of quitting his search for Kira. He even briefly mentioned it that morning at breakfast which Matt pushed aside as nothing. Matt squeezed his arms tighter around Mello. His heart ached with the realization that Mello learned nothing from his past mistake and was more than willing to put himself in danger again for the sake of finding Kira. It frightened the slightly older male.

The image of Mello meeting his demise in the next fire became too real and he began to whimper. His eyes landed on Mello's scarred face once more. Next time it could be much worse. Shaking Matt sat up, all hope of falling sleep vanished. When Mello woke he would have to speak with him and he could only hope that Mello was willing to listen.

The next chapter should be up shortly. Thank you for reading. Have a great day, everyone.