Feel You Near

BY : L Lawliet
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 1742
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Too Near

When Halle told him the last she'd seen of Near was shortly after Mello had left, Rester had to say he got a bit worried. Mello had wanted to win, and he'd had to share the victory with Near, while making the Yagami boy believe, until right before he was killed, that Mello had died.

Rester checked Near's room, but the bed was untouched. Apprehensively, he checked the little stockroom Mello had claimed as his, thinking he would find nothing there either, but then he found them both, sleeping peacefully, Near with his face against Mello's chest, while Mello had an arm slung over Near. It looked almost protective.

Rester couldn't make sense of it, but since the boys had grown up in the same orphanage... maybe their rivalry was just a front? They had this sort of relationship when they were not working? Like brothers? He looked again. They were both fully clothed, which didn't make much of a difference for Near, but Mello was sleeping with his boots on.

Mello woke up wondering why in the blazes he was holding Near, why they were in the same bed, and why Near's hand was entangled in his hair, but then he remembered. He grinned like a maniac, both anxious and relieved. What was he going to do with this?

His phone rang, so he disentangled himself from Near and fished it out of his coat.


It was Matt. Mello stretched, and looked at Near, who'd woken up too and was rubbing his eyes. The clock said five AM, but Mello didn't feel tired.


"Really?" Mello said, wondering why Matt was only this loud when he was drunk.

"Come down, will you? I said we, but it's just me and this foreign girl. Can't make out what language she's trying to speak."

Great, Mello thought, interpreter duty first thing in the morning. But Matt had never let him down, and he saw no reason to let Matt down. "Okay, okay. Send me a map."

He cut the connection, and siddled over to Near.

"I'm going to have coffee with Matt. You can come, but you wouldn't like it."

Near nodded.

"Sleep for a few more hours, I'll wake you up when I get back."

Near closed his eyes, and put the finger he'd had around a lock of Mello's hair in his own hair. Mello missed it already.

Careful not to wake anyone else up--Halle was sleeping on a makeshift cot next to the phone desk--Mello left, checking his phone for Matt's whereabouts.

At seven, Rester woke up, glad to be able to start a semblance of routine again. He was glad to have survived, glad to not have to live in fear of a petty, immature and vengeful god every moment of the day any longer.

He made coffee and brought Halle a cup, and then did a round to see who else was up.

He checked on Mello and Near, and found that Mello had left after all. Like a thief in the night, from the looks of it. Rester was worried about how Near would react. Very worried, so worried he didn't really know what came over him.

He cared about Near. Of course, he had cared about Near a lot, all the time, since Near had been the only thing between them and Kira. But now that Kira was gone, he still cared about Near, a lot, and it felt weird. Maybe Near reminded him of someone, but the only one in his past who had looked remotely like Near was his grandmother, with her full head of white curly hair.

Near looked small alone on Mello's bed, on top of the rough gray blanket. Vulnerable. Rester knew that he would go back to England, not need him anymore to board the plane with him, someone else would do that, and suddenly he felt jealous. Looking after Near was his job. Even if he had to quit his job... that was nonsense. And yet... he squatted down next to the foot end of the bed, knowing that if he sat down, Near would notice the shift of weight and wake up.

The shape of Near's toes and heels was clearly outlined in the dust that clung to his white socks. Small for his age and probably not getting any bigger, he had small feet too. Small, and pretty. Rester reached out a hand tentatively, touched the arch of Near's left foot and caressed it.

Near woke up and pulled his foot away, he sat up and pulled his leg to his chest by the knee.

"Rester? What are you doing?" he asked.

"I... came to wake you up."

"I see." Near didn't look at him, but twirled his hair.

"And was wondering about the arrangements you've made, to go home."

Near nodded.

"Not that it's any of my business."

"It's not, but thank you for caring."

"So... er..."

"I'll ask Halle to take care of it."

"You don't need me anymore," Rester said.

Near nodded. "That is right."

"Near... " Rester said. He had this urge, something he didn't understand himself, an urge to tell Near something strange. Like that he needed him. Near looked up, but not at him. Mello had come in.

"Rester," Mello said, bringing in cold air, and walked past him. He put a paper bag on the bed next to Near, and dropped his coat on the floor before plopping down casually himself.

So the dangerous loose canon Near had insisted they needed had not gone off into the sunset. In fact, against all odds, he looked comfortable where he was, and Rester felt superfluous.

"Matt says hi," Mello said to Near, and opened the bag, pulling out a tray with two steaming paper cups, and then another bag filled with pastries, and several bars of chocolate. He offered one to Rester, who accepted it, and accepted that he would never tell Near how he felt.

He got up and left, glad he hadn't done anything stupid, said anything stupid. Anything more stupid than touching Near's foot. He told himself they'd just been cooped up for too long, and working on a case that would drive the toughest insane. He would have felt a lot less crazy if it had driven him to develop feelings for someone like Halle though, and not Near, of all people. Creepy young prodigy Near who reminded him of his granny.

Rester called his superior and asked to be transferred, as soon as possible, before he allowed himself to be led into temptation again. He decided that should he continue to have weird--or, to be frank, romantic--thoughts about Near, he'd consider therapy.

"Matt says hi?" Near wondered.

"Yeah. He talks. Sometimes."

"Where will you live now, Mello?" Near asked.

Mello grinned, and offered Near a croissant. "Let's see. That's a trick question, right?"

Near tried to hide his grin by biting down in his croissant.

"I can live anywhere. I have the money, and it's all clean."

Near waited, chewing slowly.

"But you can't live by yourself, you're too old to go back to Wammy's, and the SPK is disbanding."

Near nodded.

"Look at yourself, you look like a lost puppy," Mello said, in fake disgust.

"There's L's old house, near Wammy's," Near said.

"The problem is not the house," Mello said, eating his chocolate slowly. "We need someone reliable, like Watari, who'll look after you. I won't be around all the time, and I don't cook or clean or anything."

Mello was waving his half-eaten chocolate bar around agitatedly. He wasn't going to leave Near if Near needed him so bad he'd cry, but there was no way they could live together by themselves. Mello was used to doing everything by himself, or almost everything, while the only thing Near could do was dress himself, wash himself, and use the bathroom. And feed himself, but only if the food was put in front of him.

Besides, there was the fact that Near was bound to drive him up the walls at regular intervals, and he needed to know he'd be able to leave once in a while to let off pressure.

"Roger will recommend someone reliable," Near said, and drank the hot milk Mello had brought him.

"You'll continue to work with Interpol?" Mello asked.

Near nodded.

Mello sighed. "They don't have anything on me... nothing they can use, but with my record--"

Near interrupted, "If I say I need you, then they'll give you free hand."

"You'll give me free hand? To compete with you?"

Near grinned. "Unless we're fighting the supernatural again, yes."


Mello finished his breakfast, and leant back on his hands. He remembered the awkward atmosphere in the room when he came back. "Rester, did he do anything?"

"He touched my foot," Near said. He put down his empty cup, and twirled his hair again.

"Which one?" Mello asked.

"The left."

Mello leaned over, reached for Near's left foot, and pulled it to him by the ankle. He pulled the sock off, lifted it, and asked, "Where?"

"The arch," Near whispered.

Mello put his mouth on it, licking and sucking until he felt Near relax. He'd lain down on his side, among the discarded chocolate wrappers and paper towels. Mello let go of Near's ankle and got down on his belly, right next to Near. He looked at him, and thought that leaving Wammy's was probably the single most stupid thing he had ever done.

What they said about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, it worked for rivals too. Mello had only one friend, and one rival, and he liked it that way.

"We'll keep a room for Matt in the house, all right?" he asked softly.

Near nodded.

He put a fingertip on Near's nose, and then traced down, over his lips. Near's eyes, sometimes brown, sometimes grey, depending on the light, were beautiful. Mello guessed that Near's natural hair color had been brown too, before some genuinely evil person had done something so bad to him it had turned white, before he came to Wammy's. Mello still remembered the day.

He had turned six a month earlier, and Roger had brought a new child, someone very special he'd said, but then all of them were very special. Mello thought that Near was two, at most, and had lost interest immediately. He was just a baby, how 'special' could he be? But as it turned out, Near was already four and a half, and was considered more special than Mello in no time.

Trauma manifests itself in different ways in different people, and unlike other victims of the sort of crime Near had been a victim of, Near's mind had remained intact, or intact enough. Mello imagined Near with brown curls. He would have been a pretty, normal, boy. Right now he was pretty, and a bit of a freak. Mello stretched his neck and kissed Near on the forehead.

Mello's own memories before coming to Wammy's were rather bland. He remembered being cold, being hungry, not all the time, not bad enough to kill him, what had been written down as 'neglect' in his file, but nothing of singular cruelty, no one had singled him out for violence. He had been in a different orphanage for a while, where it was warm enough, where the food was enough, and there he'd been singled out for testing. Soon after, Roger had come for him, but Mello didn't speak English yet.

At first, Mello had refused to go anywhere, but Roger had laughed, and had someone explain where he was going, until it started sinking in that there was a lot more he could have than just being warm and fed.

"When are we going to make love?" Near whispered.

"When we're not somewhere where Rester can walk in on us," Mello whispered back, "and after I teach you how to kiss."

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