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For Want of a Nail

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Nov 27, 2009


Matt was a professional gymnast.

He considered procrastinating on par with gymnastics in that there were a lot of contortions involved to make deadlines and ends meet while simultaneously slacking off. Because of this skill, he took one too many Wiki Walks while bored at work; so he felt like he knew for a fact that the folks down at Wikipedia felt like they knew for a fact that 2.5 million people in Great Britain had telephone phobia.

Well, Matt didn’t check their sources, and he may have happened to live in Britain, but he wasn’t one of those people. He worked in Tech Support for Apple after all, the shittiest job in the world next to being an actual janitor. And god rest their souls, along with anybody else’s if they had to work a job that involved putting up with other people. Matt could relate. Big Time.

Social anxiety wasn’t the reason behind the shudder that ran through his spine upon hearing the ringing of his phone’s landline. The eeriness stemmed from the fact that it was 3am on a Sunday. No mortal would ever be awake on 3am on a Sunday when they could be getting more sleep. Secondly, it was the landline. Nobody ever called his landline.

He debated just letting it ring before deciding that he didn’t want to be woken up for nothing. If his sleep had to be disturbed, why not find out why? Stretching out his arm, he felt around for the phone and pulled it off of the receiver, sticking it groggily to his ear.

“Hello?” He slurred, only half-awake. “S’Matt Rogers speaking...”

There was silence on the other end.

Matt was about to hang up when the sound of a familiar voice he hadn’t heard in years broke that quiet.

“Matt… Matt it’s me.”

His childhood friend.

No, his best friend.


Matt stopped breathing. Was he even awake right now? Suffering some weird weed induced dream? His head hadn’t fully caught up yet with the rest of his body, it was still too early for that. This and shock prevented him from speaking.

“Listen, I need your help.”

What could Mello even want? And why call him after so long?

Everything inside of him burned to tell him yes and ask him what he needed. To drop everything in his life and follow Mello. Like simpler times. Like when they were kids. When their problems solely consisted of ‘stupid Near’ (Mello’s words not his) and the snotty kids who whined for Matt to share his stuff.

Kira. It had something to do with him. Mello had left the orphanage to pursue him.

But catching bad guys as a super detective... had been Mello’s dream, not his. Matt, he didn’t have dreams. Even if he did, they wouldn't involve giving his life for the good of the world. Kira’d already iced so many self-sacrificial bastards like that, and Matt didn’t want to be added to his list.

"I know you’re still there--”

Matt hung up.

His hand stayed on the phone until he gathered the sense to roll back over onto his back. Questions continued to turn in his mind as he stared blankly at the ceiling.

Maybe he should have asked the man himself but…

He closed his eyes.

They were practically strangers now.