I pretended to sleep while he packed his bags but I watched through hooded eyes. He muttered to himself the whole time, but I couldn't catch anything more than fragments of words. But I knew. I knew where he was going. He was going after Kira and Near. But most importantly, he was going away from me.
As I watched him pack everything he ever owned, I knew I wouldn't be able to bear losing him like this. So many times he had flirted with leaving, and I had waited patiently for him to realize his mistake. I would calm him with kisses and lingering touches and draw him back to bed, running my fingers through his hair until he relaxed into sleep.
When I realized he wasn't going to wake me up, or even let me know he was leaving, something inside me gave up all hope for him. I waited until the last possible second before sitting up in my bed, legs curled under my body.
"Walk out that door and I never want to see you again!" The blonde's hand froze on the doorknob but he didn't turn around. I'd never spoken to him like that in all the years we'd known each other. I could see his brain trying to process a response. Normally his retort would be instant.
"I mean it." I spat. "If you walk out that door don't ever fucking come back again. I'm sick and tired of your crap. I gave you everything and you treat me like shit." After what seemed like hours, he turned around to face me, his face void of any emotion.
"You know this has nothing to do with you," he said. I knew the effort it took him not to explode. Mello was ruled by his emotions so this lack scared me. But I wasn't willing to back down.
"That's the problem!" I said. "Nothing in your life has to do with me. Nothing you chose ever has to do with me!" I saw the look of pain cross his face, but I had spent so long tiptoeing around him that I couldn't hold it in any longer.
"This is my chance, Matty." Mello's face twisted in an unrecognizable emotion I identified as pain. "This is the biggest chance of my life. L is dead. I can take his place. You can't ask me to give up my dream."
"Don't make me the bad one here, Mel." I uncurled my legs and stood. It was dark out, and I could just imagine the image I made – a silhouette in the moonlight. "I've given you everything. I never held anything back. Return the favor. Just this once."
We were almost perfectly matched in height, but Mello was slightly taller, and far thinner. I hid my thinness under baggy jeans and a striped shirt, while Mello wore skin tight leather, flaunting his body. He always reminded me of a cat – lithe and feral. Never had he seemed wilder than tonight, and I could feel him slipping through my fingers. I wanted him, but I had never wanted to chain him.
"You know I love you," he said. "I would give anything for you." The intensity behind Mello's words made me yearn to go to him. To close the gap and press my body to his and know everything would be okay, but I was tired of being the person who gave in. He spoke well, but so far he had given nothing, and I had given everything. I had nothing left to give.
"No you won't." I said. "You say that, but I end up giving you everything. I only ever needed your love. Now I need more. And if you can't give it, nothing will ever be okay again. I need you to stay. I need you to choose me over Near. To choose me over L. To choose me over Kira. If you don't do that, I can't forgive you. Not ever."
"You don't mean that, Matt. You love me. We were meant for each other." I loved him, but suddenly I hated him. I hated the way he thought he knew me. I hated the way he took me for granted. I hated the way he always assumed I would do everything for him. Even if it was true, he had no right to assume it. "I have to go, but I swear I'll call for you. And then we can start again. And this time everything will be right. You'll see." And he walked out the door.
"I will never love you again, Mel." I whispered in the dark. "Not after you broke me this time. I'll never forgive you for this." But he didn't hear me, because when it came down to it, he didn't want to. I didn't go back to sleep that night. I just stood watching the door, willing it to open and for Mello to come back through. But he didn't.
"What do you want, Mello." I spat. My hand clenched the phone with unnecessary ferocity. I heard the tremble in his voice, but in the end his resolve strengthened.
"Please come back, Matt." He said. "I shouldn't have left you. I…I miss you. I swear I'll never leave you again. Just please come back." I considered turning him down, but the evil part of me wanted to see him suffer and most of me just missed him with a ferocity that was terrifying.
"Fine, Mello. Just tell me where." I don't think Mello realized just how different I had become. Without him there to hold me up, I learned to rely on myself. At first it had been hard, but eventually I couldn't remember what it was like to need Mello to complete myself.
When I first saw him, I stumbled back. I think it may have been the fact that I really didn't love him anymore that surprised me. My body ached toward his, but that familiar flutter in my gut was absent. He didn't seem to understand because he flashed a smirk and revved the engine. I got on the bike behind him without talking.
We didn't talk much the next few days. Sex doesn't require it, and it was easier for me to avoid everything. I fell into a casual routine. We would fuck, and then I would do whatever hacking he wanted without asking questions. The physical intimacy was refreshing, sating my body's desire while I kept my heart firmly locked away.
"I love you, Matt." I froze when he said it. I knew he didn't believe my words all those years ago, but I never thought he would ignore them so blindly. He didn't notice that I suddenly stopped responding. He continued trailing kisses down my back until I turned to face him.
"No, Mel." I said. His eyes were wary. "I told you I wouldn't love you again. I meant it."
"Then what have we been doing this past week?" He asked, angry. "Was it just fucking to you? Is that all I ever was?" He pushed himself off the bed and pulled on his pants, tossing mine at me. I sat up to look at him.
"I loved you. But you left me. You walked out on me. I couldn't sit around and wait for you forever." I couldn't believe the conversation we were having. "I made it clear that we couldn't go back to how we were before. What part of it didn't you understand? Or do you just have to assume I'm too weak to not need you. Is that it?"
"Fuck, Matt." Mello knocked things off his nightstand so he could sit on it. "I know you love me. I know I love you. I thought that meant something to you. I thought we said forever."
"You left!" I stood, shouting at him, wanting to put as much distance between us as possible. "You have the balls to talk to me about forever after you fucking left me! You know what. Don't call me again unless you can handle that forever ceased to exist the moment you walked out that door." I pulled my pants on as I walked out of the house, leaving a stunned Mello behind me.
Mello eventually got over his initial anger, and we resumed our relationship on my terms. After several unsuccessful weeks, we finally made a breakthrough in the case, and were going to take a risk, hoping to lure Kira out by capturing her spokeswoman. We made love that night, roughly, as if we knew that it would be our last.
"I love you, Matt." Mello said that morning. "I don't care if you don't love me, but I love you. I'm sorry I left you, but I did. If I could do it again, I wouldn't. I would stay with you until you were old enough to leave, then we could go on our own. And live somewhere safe. And let Near take all the risks of being L." I looked up in surprise. I almost said nothing, and Mello seemed okay with that. Just before we got into our vehicles, me in a sports car and him on that stupid motorcycle, I caught his eye.
"I wish you had, Mel." I flicked my cigarette to the floor. "I wish you had, because then I could tell you that I love you. But you didn't so I can't. But just…if we don't make it, know that I did love you. I loved you forever. And I will love you forever. But I can't love you now. I'm sorry."
I never saw him again. I don't know what happened with him, but I hoped he would live, because I had taken all those bullets for him. As I looked death in the eye, I did so because I loved him. And it was his name on my lips as I fell to the ground. And it was his face I saw as my life flashed before my eyes. Even if he had walked out on me and I couldn't forgive him, I loved him.