DOA

BY : hnm
Category: Death Note > General
Dragon prints: 1214
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note or the characters, they belong to Tsgumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. I do not make money from writing this, it is for entertainment purposes only.

A/N: Coloured Red, Thank You So Much For Reviewing!!! To tell the truth, I’ve never written the pairing before, haven’t really even read it but I wanted to do something different. Spice things up. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed!


IN MY WAY, THERE’S YOU

Mello was causing trouble again, as usual. The blond had decided to take his bike on the way to the SPK headquarters, which was fine with his partner. The brat was in a terrible mood today. At least he wasn't depressed, but he was sure as hell not going to make the day easy on anyone. His motorcycle weaved through traffic, horns honks, New York residents behaved as usual, angrily swearing and flipping him off from out their windows. Even Matt flipped him the finger, but he was of course unable to see it from his place five, now six, seven, car lengths ahead. He swerved around yet another car, getting dangerously closer to the dividing line between lanes.

Hal had stupidly suggested just kidnapping the blond to get him into the building, but she didn't know him that well. She still thought the kid was charming, even after having held her at gunpoint. Now it almost seemed like a good idea, obviously the tiny, harmless white lie that Matt had told was much worse an idea. Mello had been raging all morning, breaking his and Matt's things, crashing around the apartment, throwing a tantrum when he couldn't find his vest or eyeliner.

That had been what told his younger friend that the blond was not quite as upset as he was acting. He'd been wearing layers lately, covering up most of his scars with long sleeves and hoods. Everything under the winter jacket was still skin tight and hot as hell, but he'd lost the confidence to show off his arms, that line of flesh that had turned paler in recent years, not seeing the sun nearly as much as it used to. He'd only just gotten comfortable around Matt, but still shied away if he thought his friend was staring at his scars. But of course they didn't shock his friend, who had been the one to nurse him back to health, to bandage them when Mello was too weak to do it himself.

Dressed to kill, made up only a little more than usual, Mello had finally dragged himself out the door. He'd been stalling of course, watching the news, checking up on Kira. This was a morning ritual, and would not have been unusual, but then Mello even took the time to hack into Wammy's computers, leaving Roger a hello. That's when it was obvious that something was amiss, even when the redhead read the note, seeing that it was a personal, biased update on Near's progression in the case.

'I told you I should have been successor. Near fucked up again. I'm going to clean up the mess. -M'

It was only half a lie, when Mello was informed that Near's regular correspondences with the suspect had taken a turn for the worse. It was true that the albino had been calling this imposter L, had been slowly causing doubt among the task force, giving them his opinion that this L was in fact the true Kira. The only part that had been a lie was that Mello had been told that the team had cut off contact, had moved somewhere and the younger boy wasn't able to trace their whereabouts. He needed Mello's help finding them, might even need his old Mafia connections to assist him.

"Idiot! Fucking moron. If he already knew where they were, why didn't he just go in there, the fucking pussy!" Mello had been given this news as soon as he woke, and had spent hours getting ready, cleaning and loading his gun, adding a second to the pocket of his jacket. There were knives in each of his boots. His friend had complained that there would be no ammunition left for him to protect himself, but Mello had just opened a drawer of his bureau, revealing that it was full of various illegally obtained weapons. "Move your fucking ass. What are you waiting for?" Mello had been standing by the door, arms crossed, chewing on the end of his rosary. It was something he'd done since he was a small child, whenever the shit was about to hit the fan, as the cliché went.

Then he was speeding off, and Matt kept nervously glancing at his speedometer, watching it climb, braking when traffic clogged at an intersection, Mello speeding by the red lights. Was he trying to get arrested? Matt loved a good car chase, but this gorgeous piece of metal was illegal, and he didn't have an American driver's license. Of course, Mello probably didn't either. But that wasn't stopping him from breaking every traffic law he could possibly dream up.

Incredibly, they made it past the wailing sirens and swerved into side streets, turning around and heading in opposite directions. The trip that should have taken less than half an hour was creeping up on almost sixty minutes, as Mello used this deviant behavior to cool his head and collect his thoughts. Matt wondered if the blond was reminded of their childhood, how L had once had to pick them up in a juvenile detention center, scolding them and begging the police not to charge them, then finally pulling out the 'I am justice' card and making the officers 'forget' all about it. He swore his charges would be punished accordingly, but then broke into fits of laughter as soon as they'd been dragged into the backseat of Watari's car. If he could only see them now, see how many more laws they were breaking in a quarter of the time it'd taken them to commit those acts. For a second, the redhead thought he saw someone sitting in his passenger seat, knees tucked up to his chin, toes rubbing together on the leather seats, carefully balancing a plate of cake and winking when the teenager almost missed the turn.

They arrived in the back of the building, Mello was ahead of course, his helmet placed on the seat as he shook out his hair, combed his fingers through it. Matt stumbled out of the car, staring back in and looking for evidence of the ghost. Mello stared at him in confusion, then his eyes widened when he looked at the car. He shook his head, turning back to Matt. His hand was on the butt of the gun peeking out from his waistband. Well, shit. So maybe this plan wasn't going to fail miserably. Apparently someone was giving their blessing. Creepy fucker, even beyond the grave he was guiding them.

"Mello, did you-" The blond waved a hand, stalking off to the entrance of the building. Catholics probably didn't believe in ghosts. And of course Mello would rather believe that his bad mood was giving him hallucinations, than to hear that he was not alone.

Hal was waiting for them, holding the elevator that would take them to the main room of SPK headquarters. She spoke quickly, explaining the urgency of the meeting, begging Mello to keep his gun down. "It's hard to tell, you know him. But he's really nervous right now, frantic. He's been berating us all day, blaming us for this. I hate to speak badly of my employer, but he has been so foolish. I don't know what came over him, he just suddenly starting swearing at this other L, accusing him, threatening him even. I think he's really lost his mind. What did you say to each other on the phone that day? I mean no disrespect to any of you, but I think that may have been the cause."

"Fuck you." Mello shed his winter jacket, throwing it at the woman. "Put this somewhere. If there's so much as a scratch on it when I come back for it, you'll have more to worry about than your job." Hal had been about to reply, when she took in the blond teen's appearance. That's right, she hadn't seen this version of Mello. He looked like a wet dream, the skintight vest riding high enough to expose his navel. He'd been a little shorter when he'd first bought it, and had grown some muscle since his Mafia days. The shirt rode higher than ever. The leather pants were fastened even lower on his hips, so much so that he'd probably had to wax to wear them. There was a belt looped around his hips, hanging lower on one side then the other, more for decoration than function. He watched her staring, taking in the outfit, the multiple crosses that hung from his wrists and neck, and for the first time he smiled, winked. Mello shook his head, tucked some hair behind his ear on the scarred side of his face. He looked just like a fallen angel, beaten up and almost broken when he'd tumbled out of heaven, only to stand up again with a new fury, bringing the fires of hell with him and making all the pitiful humans beg to be burned right along with him.

"Yes sir." Halle stuttered out, carefully folding the jacket over her arm. They rode the elevator in silence, Matt glaring at Mello for getting the attention of the pretty girl. It had been like that in the orphanage too, he'd always thought the girls were settling for him. It was the only time he had ever been angry with Mello, when all he had to do was walk down the hall and every eye would turn to him. It was even worse now. The redhead even briefly considered changing his look, but remembered that Mello had not dressed like this years ago, and was still just as pretty. Damn it.

As usual, Near was sitting on the floor in the main room, playing with his toys. Mello stalked towards him, standing above him with a hand on his hip. Hal noticed that some of her colleagues seemed confused when the albino licked his lips, eyes traveling up the body of the slender blond teen. He had to crane his neck to meet that face, saw those blue eyes narrowing at him, those full lips curling up into a sneer. "Awfully calm, aren't we Near?"

"I believe I am in better a position than last we met, seeing as how Mello is not currently pointing a gun at me." For the first time, Near was able to see more of the scar, see that it went down the older boy's neck, most of the way down his arm. With the revealing outfit, he could also see that his rival had gained some muscle recently, his shoulders were wider, his stomach slightly more defined than almost concave as it had been when they were children. He wondered if this was the result of the end of puberty, if god had decided to further grace him with an even lovelier figure than before, or if Mello had been working out, compensating for his slight build. Either way, he looked lovely.

"From what I hear, you're in a far worse position than a few days ago." Mello was angry, but Near could not guess why. He hadn't yet mentioned the phone call, the hurt that it had caused him. Had someone told him how Near had been lately, that his guilt that been slowly building, that Matt's words had caused him so much pain that he'd stopped eating, couldn't sleep. That he didn't give a shit about the case, refused to answer the imposter L's correspondences? Was Mello here to rub it in, looking beautiful and sexy and dangerous. Why had he brought his friend? Was he here to admit that they were lovers, to twist the knife a little more?

"Hello Matt." The redhead waved, already lighting a cigarette despite Hal's complaints. The two had been talking quietly by the entrance, thankful that Near and Mello were too distracted with hating each other to overhear. "I have no idea what Mello is talking about. Everything is fine."

"There's no need for pride any more Near, I know what's going on. You lost contact with Kira, and now I'm here to save our asses." The albino titled his head to the side, wondering if the blond had finally gone completely insane, or if there was some kind of misunderstanding. He looked around, noting that Rester had already disappeared, that Gevanni was following closely.

"I believe that Mello is confused. My suspect is in this very city still, though is planning on leaving for Japan soon, as far as I can tell. I have already prepared travel arrangements for myself." Mello turned around, looking from Hal, to Matt. He turned back, pulling his gun, aiming for the younger boy's head.

"It's our suspect now. I'm not letting you have the reigns anymore. You're not going to solve this puzzle. So you'd best forget your foolish pride right now. I am so tired of being in the dark when it comes to you." Near stood, reaching for the gun in surprising speed. Mello sidestepped him, and the younger boy stumbled, but quickly regained his footing. He'd managed to get behind the blond, catching him off guard, taking his wrist and twisting the arm behind his back. Near squeezed Mello's wrist until the blond released the gun, then pushed the older boy forward, making him stumble to his knees. But Mello came back with the knife that had been tucked into his boot, pressing the tip of the blade against Near's throat. "Fucking give up yet?"

"Mello will not kill me." The blade pressed into the hollow of Near's throat, the tip breaking skin. Mello watched the blood trickle down that porcelain smoothness and felt the urge to lick it off, shaking his head.

"Really?" The blond dragged the blade down, stopping just above the first button of Near's pajama top. Mello's breathing was quickening, belying the calm in his face. Seeing the blood was bringing back memories of the new nightmares he'd been having, where Kira finally caught up with his rival, Near taking a knife to himself, or putting a gun in his own mouth, forced to do so with the words written in a death note.

"I am sure of it. It is obvious that Mello cares for me, or he would not be here in person. I do not know where he got the idea that the case was in trouble, for it is most certainly not, but the mere fact that Mello is willing to work for me shows that- ah!" The blond had backhanded the younger boy, his head whipping to the side.

"I am not going to work for you! I am taking this case right out of your fucking hands. I can't believe you'd tarnish his memory this way! You're not even trying!" The blond screamed, slapping him again.

Near grabbed Mello by the throat, fingers squeezing, cutting off his words. "I am trying!" The older boy's eyes widened, shocked at hearing the albino raise his voice for the first time. He had never, ever yelled. Even when L had died, he sat there calmly, unaffected. "Mello always makes everything about himself. He does not consider other's feelings. It is only his own pain he is concerned about. I don't want anything to do with this case! Do you hear me? I hate this. But I'm doing it for you! You won't be satisfied until he's avenged."

"Near," Mello gasped, taking in deep breaths when he was released. Worse a shock than hearing the younger boy raise his voice was that he'd referred to the blond in first person. Mello had always thought that his speech was a way to distance himself from people, and it worked. He always sounded so superior. L had just made the odd speech seem like a quirk, but Near's voice was more hollow, devoid of emotion, robotic. So perfect it was inhuman.

"Shut up! Mello is always accusing me of not caring, and he is right. I don't care about L. I don't give a shit about him. He died on us. He left us, when he promised he wouldn't. I don't care, but Mello does. And I care about Mello. But he does not reciprocate, because L's memory is more important to him than the one that is still living, that one that still feels for him. I am doing the best I can to give Mello the only gift I have left. I cannot give him my heart, because he does not want it. I cannot return L to him, but I can give him Kira's head on a platter. I would cut out his heart and hand it to Mello if that would relieve his grief, give him even a moments peace. I'm doing the best I can. If that is not good enough for Mello than he can just leave. I will continue my pursuit regardless, because that is all I want. If it will please Mello, then I will give him my heart alongside that of Kira's. I would cut it out myself, just so I didn't have to see Mello cry again." There were tears in the blonde’s eyes, as he listened to the confession, but the anger had not subsided. Near still thought that he was in love with L.

"I can't believe you. Even after all these years, Near, you still think I wanted him. That's not why I left. Yes, I couldn't spend another minute in the orphanage, walking down the halls that L had passed through, stopping by his door and not seeing the light under it, going to Watari's office for some guidance, even knowing that he wouldn't be there. But that's not why I really left. And you should know it, you misguided, self-centered prick. I couldn't take another second of seeing the accusation in your eyes. Even now, when you look at me, I see my monstrous reflection staring back, I saw all my faults summed up every time I met your eyes, the ones that used to look at me with, if it wasn't love, at least some amount of respect and affection. L was my father, my mentor. I didn’t ever want to fuck him. You were my lover, but you rejected me, and then dared accuse of me of not loving you on top of it all. You're the one that can't stand to look at me. And I'm so fucking stupid, because I still love you!" The blond dropped the knife, fell to his knees.

"Mello has never before been such a convincing liar." The younger boy spoke, but he sounded much less sincere than before. He stared down at the blond, waiting for him to attack again, but Mello stayed where he was, hair falling into his face, hiding the tears, but his breathing gave it away. "Too many tears have been shed for that man. He deserves no more. It is time to move on. Death is inevitable, even for the likes of the great L."

"I can't just deal with this. Maybe you can, but it still hurts me. I've tried to be stronger, I've tried to stand on my own. But every time I get somewhere, it all comes crashing back to you, and I'm weak again. I wish I'd died in that explosion, then we could be rid of each other." Near's legs were shaking as he listened to Mello's words. He'd always been sickly, which was why he was so small, why he spent most of his time curled up on the floor. But he'd been stronger than this, until this last week. It was impossible to tell if exhaustion was the cause, or if the guilt he was feeling from Mello's words was what made him shiver, made him have to close his eyes and focus on something other than his rival weeping on the floor. His words sounded like the truth. He was not grieving for L, he was grieving for what he thought was the loss of Near's affection.

"I never stopped loving Mello." The albino fell to his knees, held a hand against the blonde's shoulder.

"You never once said you love me. Whatever sick game you're playing, don't you dare use that word now. I said it every fucking time we made love, and you never once said it back." The blond shrugged the hand off his shoulder, but it was soon replaced with arms around his neck, and his grief made him too weak to fight them away. And it felt so good, familiar. But it was too little, too late.

"Mello was confused. I never said it because it was not the right time. I did not want to cheapen it by saying such a thing during the moments after orgasm. Sex is not love. It can be an extension of it, but it was the moments between that made me realize my true feelings for Mello. I was too afraid to say it, because I believed that Mello was experiencing a rush of endorphins, that any other time he might not be as convinced of his feelings. I did not wish to have my sentiment taken lightly, or laughed at, as Mello no doubt would have." Near forced Mello's chin up, his smile faltering when he saw the redness in his eyes. "I love Mello. I have always loved Mello."

The older boy tried to turn his head, to get away from the intense stare of those gray eyes. Many had compared Mello's own to the sea on a warm day, to a bright sky. The only thing he ever saw when he looked into Near's were storm clouds, or an empty slate. They were impossible to read, it was what made the younger boy such a fantastic liar. His eyes gave away nothing. Not unless they were alone, when sometimes he'd catch a glimpse of something more. He noticed now that they were alone, and felt himself relax and allow the albino to stare into his eyes, caught the truth in them staring back. "You made my life a living hell. You made me feel like dirt. I tried so hard to please you, to be best. But you were never satisfied. I'm always disappointing you. Don't love me, please, now more than ever don't feel for me. I'll only destroy you."

"If that is how my end must come, then I can think of no better way. Mello will not convince me otherwise. I love him more than my life. That is why I took this case. I still had the option to give it to Mello, but I could not bear the thought that it might kill him. Make no mistake, I have never doubted my rival's mind, have always admired it. Never once was I disappointed. No one else has been able to match my intelligence and skills, no one has ever given me such a challenge. Still, even our combined wits could never equal that of L's, and he had already died trying. So it was better that I take this on, kill Kira even if it killed me. To have Mello at my side, even if we die, I can think of no better way to live the remainder of my days."

Near leaned in, slowly, placing the barest of kisses on Mello's lips. "Romantic, for someone who was calling me a slut just the other day."

"I never really believed that Mello had slept with anyone else. I had not, of course. If I really believed that my lover had done such a thing, I would have destroyed both parties. Mello is mine." The older boy smiled, kissing Near again, forcing his lips open with his tongue, fighting for dominance. Near was letting him win, falling onto his back, head hitting the hard surface of the floor, never losing contact of the kiss. Mello was straddling his hips, at first forcing his arms down with a grip on his wrists, then letting go to twine their fingers together.

"Promise me. Promise me you mean it. Say you love me. Not you love Mello. Say it right. Promise me you're not lying. I'll work with you, we'll catch Kira. But only if you mean it. I came here to fight, maybe to kill us both. But I just can't take it anymore. I'm so caught up thinking about you that I can't see anything else anymore. I can't do this alone. But I'll still leave. Please mean it."

"I do not wish to have the sentiment ruined this way. It is very distracting to have Mello in my lap at this moment. He is more beautiful now than ever, the scar only makes him prettier. It is proof that Mello's life is fragile, and I wish to protect him." The blond smiled, kissing him again, but Near pushed him away. "There is more I want to say, but if Mello does not get off me, I will not be able to properly express myself." The albino pushed the older boy off, but still held one of his hands. "I promise that I speak the truth. I swear that I am not using this confession as a means to trick Mello into assisting me." Near paused, took a deep breath. He seemed to be really struggling to speak, and Mello squeezed his hand, comforting but impatient. "I love you, Mello. Even if it is no longer returned, I love you. I have from the first time I kissed you."
There were so many things Mello could say, so many words that would sting, like the revenge he promised he would serve. Why couldn't have Near just swallowed his pride years earlier and admitted it? Why couldn't he have saved them all this trouble and pain? He'd waited until Mello had almost died once, waited until their lives were both in danger to the extent that even the normally courageous, self-sacrificing older boy was more than a little afraid. He'd possibly ensured that their time left together was days at best. It was with this thought that Mello decided there was only one thing left to do.

"I missed you baby." The blond said, pushing Near onto his back and straddling his hips again. He leaned over, pushing the albino's arms over his head and then taking both wrists with one hand while the other worked at the buttons of the pajama top. Near struggled, until the blond bent over and latched his teeth onto a nipple. When they'd still been at Wammy's, he'd discovered to the younger boy’s great embarrassment that Near was a bit of a masochist, and while the albino was usually gentle with him, Mello would claw and bite and it would drive Near crazy.

"Mmm...as much as I enjoy Mello's attention, I do not wish to continue this here. We shall retire to my bedroom, and then we can make love properly." Mello smirked, biting the other nipple, releasing Near's wrists so they could hold hands. "Mello will...unh...listen to me, damn it."

"That's cute Near. You really think you're the one in control here?" The blond kissed him before he had a chance to respond, grinding their hips together and moaning into Near's mouth. "You don't want to wait, do you? You want me right now, right here." The blond undid the laces of his pants, exposing yet more of his sharp hipbones. Nears licked his lips, blinked, shook his head. It was getting more and more difficult to focus, especially when the blond rolled them over and wrapped a leg around Near's waist. "Come on, I can practically feel you inside of me already."

"There will be plenty of opportunities for us to make love in this manner later. I wish to take my time with Mello tonight, I wish to remind him how precious he is to me. I will not take advantage of the situation. Not tonight at least." Was that a wink? Contrary to his innocent features, Near was as mischievous as Mello, often behaving or speaking in such a way that even made the blond blush. It was no different now, as he punctuated this statement by rubbing his clothed erection against the blonde's, his satisfied smirk growing wider when Mello's legs fell open and his cheeks turning red. "Now, you will get your cute ass to my bedroom so we may make love properly."

"Uh huh." Near stood, offering the older boy a hand up. Mello took it, though the combination of his weight and his eagerness to be close to the albino almost made them topple over again. "What if we don't make it?"

"Then I will have to call Hal in to carry Mello upstairs. Or possibly Rester. I believe that Hal might be preoccupied anyway. She is quite enamored with Matt." Mello wrinkled his nose, blushed harder if possible. It was a dirty trick, but it was working. Rester had been a friend of Wammy's and had visited the house on occasion, had seen them as small children. It would be like a relative, however distant, finding out that the teens were having sex. And as for Matt, they were like brothers. Not to mention that the idea of Hal naked was not a pleasant thought.

"You're a prick." Near laughed, shrugging. He definitely hadn't matured much, this all the more evident as he dragged the blond to the elevator, walking faster than Mello had even seen.

*****************************************************************

"I hate those fucking things." Near had complained as they entered his room. The albino was claustrophobic and Mello had thought that this was the sole reason for the complaint until he was pressed against the wall, Near unzipping his vest kissing the unscarred side of his neck, down the shoulder, then traveling back up the other side.

Mello turned his head, tried to push Near away as he nibbled at the rough flesh, put his hand on the blonde's scarred cheek. "I can't feel that." Near stopped immediately, turning the older boy's head with a forceful grip on his chin. Mello imagined the little cartoon light bulb shining above Near's head, as he often did when the albino came up with an idea. Near covered Mello's good eye with his palm, and the world went black. The left eye was completely intact, looked perfectly normal. Just looking at him, you’d never know he’d lost his sight. Mello pushed him away, but was pressed back against the wall. He went limp, trying to hold back treacherous tears. The tear ducts on the scarred side were working, according to Matt. Though Mello couldn't feel the salty wetness when it slid down his cheek until it touched his lips, until he tasted it.

"Can Mello see me?" The blond shook his head. Near put his mouth against the blonde's left ear, whispering quietly. "Can Mello hear me?" The blond was very still, not responding. It wasn't that he was ignoring the albino, he had no idea that Near had spoken. "The light from the explosion blinded Mello, and the resulting sounds deafened him. He is very lucky that his ride side is fully functional. It is, isn't it?" Near whispered this last into the blonde's good ear, and Mello nodded.

"Go ahead, say it. I've been beating myself up for it, it's your turn." Near responded by licking at the raised flesh, noting the odd, but not unpleasant way it felt on his tongue. "Whatever you're doing, I can't feel it." Near sucked on the skin of the left side, and the blond stared straight ahead, his muscles tensing. Near bit it, and still there was no response. "Stop. Please don't touch it. Don't look at it. I can't stand it." Mello tugged at the pajama bottoms, and wrapped his hand around Near's dick to distract him. He was horrified that the albino was still hard after having had the disgusting marks in his mouth, but he continued to stroke the younger boy in hopes that he would forget about it, concentrate on the half of Mello that was still bearable to look at.

"I told Mello, the scars have only made him more precious and beautiful to me. They are a perfect example of what I almost lost due to my stupidity." Near tugged the blonde's pants off, and they both stepped out of their clothes, kissing as they made the way to the bed. Near threw his top aside, and lay half over the blond, keeping his scarred side closer. "There is no part of it that has sensation?"

"No." Near knew that this was a lie, that the edges looked less severe, that the nerve damage might not be complete. Mello just did not want him to touch that part. He saw himself as a monster, but Near only saw an angel that had lost confidence, that needed to be taught again how precious he was. The blond had all but lost his erection, though Near's hand went to the older boy's dick as he licked along the outside edges of the scar on his neck. "Oh...god." Next the albino paid careful attention to the shoulder, the collarbone, making the blond gasp and raise his hips. Mello tried to pull him away, but Near continued and soon the blond was hard again, thrusting into Near's hand as he nipped the overly sensitive tissue. It seemed to have more feeling than the smooth skin of his good side, was somehow incredibly pleasurable. "Stop it! It hurts, stop it."

"It does not hurt. It feels good. Mello is just embarrassed. Does he not see how turned on I am by being allowed to pleasure my lover so thoroughly. Mello may have lost his sight and hearing on this side, but he seems to have gained a rather interesting erogenous zone to make up for the loss." Mello took the albino's hand from around his dick, biting a fingertip. Near pushed the finger into the blonde's mouth, effectively quieting his complaints. "Suck." The albino commanded, and Mello complied, taking three of the younger boy's fingers into his mouth and wetting them while Near continued to kiss the edges of his scars. "Does Mello do this alone? Does he think about me late at night? I certainly fantasize about him when I masturbate."

Near's hand found it's way between Mello's legs, and the blond raised his hips, moaning when just the tip of a single finger pushed into his ass. "Fuck. Yes, oh god Near, please." The albino smirked, pushing the finger deeper, thrusting in and out, intentionally missing the prostate. "Bastard. Did you forget where it was?" Near added another finger, crooking the digits when they sank inside the blond, finding the sensitive spot and pressing hard into it. "Unh."

"Apparently not." Near added the third finger, thrusting in and out, too slow for the blond. Mello pulled him down with a handful of white curls, kissing him while his hips bucked up, encouraging the younger boy to go faster, deeper. "I told Mello that I wanted to take my time. I plan to have him at my mercy before the night is over. Begging will only encourage me to take even more time."

Mello was not about to lose his control, not now when he felt the heat traveling to his center, practically burning him up as Near kissed his scars and thrust into him with long pale fingers. The albino's hand looked paper white between Mello's perpetually tanned thighs, and Near looked so cute when he stared adoringly into the older boy's eyes each time he pressed against that spot, making the blond whimper and claw at the bed. No, he was not going to let Near have this much control. He was already about to come, knew that he'd be no more than a mumbling mess if he went this way.

The blond wrapped a hand around Near's erection, effectively stopping him from torturing the blond further. The albino removed his fingers, laying the hand over Mello's as the blond continued to stroke him. "Don't you want me? Don't you want to be in me when I come?"

"I know for a fact that Mello is able to do that more than once in a night. Several times, actually." Despite this, Near was already off the bed, racing back as quickly as he could, a bottle of lube already open in his hands. "Mello is not helping. If he does not wish for me to come before I am able to penetrate him, then it would be wise for him to stop that." The blond had sucked on his own fingers, rolling over and pushing himself up onto his knees so that the younger boy could watch as his hand slipped between his thighs, as he pushed his fingers into his ass.

"Then hurry the fuck- unh. Near..." The albino sat on the edge of the bed, licking just above the crack of Mello's ass. The blond extracted his fingers, stilled as he waited for the albino to fuck him. Instead, Near grabbed a hip and rolled the blond onto his back again, coating his erection with the lube while Mello watched impatiently. "What's wrong with you? You said you wanted me at your mercy..."

"It is not worth it if I can not look at Mello's beautiful face." Near stroked a scarred cheek, and this time Mello didn't turn away. He was finally convinced that Near had meant what he said, that he really was still pretty, at least to Near. The albino kissed both sides of Mello's neck, each shoulder, then held one of his hands as he positioned himself between the blonde's legs. "It has been so long, forgive me if I can not last." Near kissed Mello as he entered him, pulling one leg around his waist and putting a hand under the older boy's back to help lift his hips and ease the entry.

Near took his time, though it tortured him, and he made sure to never miss Mello's spot with each thrust, to kiss along both the scarred and smooth sides of the blonde's face and neck when the older boy came. The blond wished he could feel Near's lips and tongue over the rough surface of the scar tissue, but it was enough knowing that Near wanted to, that he found it attractive.

Mello stroked Near's hair as he came inside him, twirling his fingers in the soft white curls, tugging slightly the way he remembered the younger boy liked. "Please, don't get up. You can stay there all night if you want." The albino was still inside the blond, pushing himself up and preparing to get out, but the blond didn't want to lose the connection this time. It might hurt in the morning, but right now there was nothing he wanted more. They both needed to be reassured that the other was there, and there was no better way than to let the albino sleep on him, in him.

Despite his previous convictions, Near felt that there was no better time to further reassure the blond of his affection. He kissed the older boy, held his hand. He was careful not to shift his lower body, not wanting his teenage hormones to ruin the moment. If he became aroused again then he could not say it. It would make him look like a liar. But he couldn't wait until morning, couldn't wait another minute. "Mello, I love you."

"Thank you," Mello paused, eyelids growing heavy with exhaustion. It had been better than ever before, they'd been free to make love without either of them letting the doubt in. "I love you too."

**********************************************************
Hal ran a hand through her hair for the hundredth time on the way to her employer's room. She took several deep breaths, in and out, in and out. It was a normal morning ritual, she tried to remind herself. Like every day, she would knock on the door, waiting for the albino to stir from sleep, if he was sleeping at all. He would appear finally, hand her a transformer to carry in exchange for a pile of folders or a cell phone, and together they would make their way to the main room where they would remain until the early hours of the following morning.

This morning was different however. First of all she'd done something rather embarrassing herself, and as nicely put back together as she hoped she looked, Near would no doubt realize what had transpired. The albino had little to no sense of tact, once telling Gevanni that his lady friend's perfume was obnoxious to the senses, and would he please shower before coming to work. Seeing that the charming English teen she'd spent the night with was practically related to her boss, she would no doubt have to deal with Near's comments.

That aside, there was still the matter of Mello. Matt had assured the SPK officer that the former rivals would have made up by morning. But Matt had not seen them here the last time, had not seen the cold, uncaring look as Near sat with a gun pointed at the back of his head, he had not seen the determination in Mello's eyes to pull that trigger. Maybe they'd been vicious with each other as children, but they were adults now, and had no mentor left to impress. They had only a memory to which each was clinging, and very little left in their young lives to hope for, other than beating one another, once this Kira thing was over.

In fact when Hal had been dragged out of the room Mello had had a knife at Near's throat. She knew the albino was capable of defending himself, fragile as he looked, but she also knew that while Mello never went anywhere unarmed, Near almost always refused to even look at a weapon. The blond would have the upper hand, if it came to it.

She'd seen the monitors this morning as she entered the building, but still was surprised when there wasn't a body in the main room. Of course Matt had said that if there were one, the other would follow. So, all was well so far.

"Near?" Hal called out before even knocking, trying the handle as she did. It was locked, damn it. No...that was good. It meant someone he was inside, alive. Thank goodness. "I know I may be over stepping my bounds in saying this, but, Near I'm worried. It's past noon. You never sleep in. Are you alright?"

It was possible that he'd just gotten distracted, that he was so lost in picking apart clues in his head that he had separated himself from the real world. It was possible that this was just another 'absent minded genius' symptom and that he was curled up on the floor, stacking tarot cards while watching five different news stations in three languages.

She was getting worried now, knocking again and calling his name louder. She should never have listened to that crazy redhead! "Near! I'm counting to five then I'm kicking the door in! Do you hear me!"

The door swung open, just as Lidner had been prepared to kick it in. There was the white t-shirt, messily buttoned and hanging off of thin shoulders. But the body inside was wrong, too tall for one, and lacking the matching pajama bottoms. Still the top hung to mid thigh, though a slightly tanned and bare chest could be seen through the thin fabric, as well as a pair of black boxer-briefs. "Just what the fuck do you want?"

The blond stretched, which caused the top to ride up, and the woman blushed when treated to a clear view of the teen's underwear. She looked away, covering her eyes and trying to remind herself that this was forbidden territory. She couldn't help but still be attracted to Mello, who could? However the current images running through her mind were more confusing than attractive, and now she was sure that she'd never be able to look at Near the same way. She had not believed it when she'd been told, but apparently the albino really was the...top in the relationship.

As if on cue, the younger of the two appeared from under a mass of blankets and sheets, nude from the waist up. From her position in the doorway, Hal could clearly see most of the teenagers' clothing on the floor, which meant that her employer was most certainly not wearing anything else. "Mello..." Not once in their time together had the woman heard the albino whine, but that was exactly what he'd done when speaking the older teen's name. He'd even pouted as he patted the open space in the bed next to him. "I demand that Mello brings his pretty ass back to my bed now. Also, Hal should close her mouth. That expression is not very becoming of a lady."

"Near, don't be a dick." The blond looked over his shoulder to shoot his boyfriend a warning glance, but the albino only smirked and raised an eyebrow. If Hal had been any less emotionally scarred she might have taken the time to count how many different expressions Near had just made in the space of a few minutes.

"Oh- oh, ah, I'm terribly sorry...I didn't realize you were..." Was there even a proper word to use? One that wouldn't have her blushing anymore, one that might help her keep her dignity? And why couldn't she turn her eyes away from him? The former Secret Service agent wanted to hug Matt for delaying her so this morning, she could only imagine how much worse this might be if she'd walked in earlier, if she'd broken the door down to see...

Suddenly the blonde's usual aggravating smirk was gone, replaced by an angry sneer, not unlike the one that he'd had when threatening Near last. Hal actually took a step back, her hand hovering over the gun in it's holster, ready to draw even on the tiny, unarmed teenager. This look could move mountains. Of course it had already. Mello was so small, so /pretty/ (not handsome, pretty) that many might forget what he was capable of, but not Lidner. This child had climbed to the top of Rod Ross' gang at an age when most hadn't even graduated high school. He had stared death itself in the face and...well, the crazy little shit had blown himself up and lived to tell the tale.

"What the fuck are you looking at, huh?" For a moment the woman was lost, until the younger blond shook out his hair and lowered his head so that the majority of the scar was covered. Then he wrapped his arms around his chest, still glaring, though not meeting the girl's eyes. It seemed as if he was trying to decide whether to lash out, or be ashamed. Matt had warned about this already, saying that if you looked at Mello too long, even if you were just meeting his eyes while speaking, he'd think you were staring at the scars and quickly become defensive.

"N-nothing...I'm not staring at anything. I'm..." Hal stuttered, hands wildly waving in the air, before laying a palm over her face and sighing loudly. "Mello," she spoke through her hand, "please, I know what you were thinking and that is not the case at all."

Behind them Near had been watching the exchange, wondering how long before it would get out of hand. Hal was an excellent government agent, one of the best he'd ever meant, and had done fine in undercover missions. However, as most often did, she seemed lost when dealing with Mello's sudden temper changes. The albino decided that now would be the time to help her out a bit. She worked so hard for him. Anyway, he could not stand to see Mello there hurting.

Near wrapped a sheet around himself, managing to not trip on the excess that dragged on the floor behind him. He made his way behind the older teen, wrapping the sheet around him while kissing the nape of his neck. The blond sighed, and Near could feel some of the tension oozing out of him and drifting away. Near nipped at the older boy's shoulder while tightening his hold around the thin waist, pressing their bodies closer together. Still he had to wait, knowing that while Mello was relaxing it would be easy to set him off again, that the slightest provocation might have him storming out and doing something insane. Again.

Hal had lowered her gaze, feeling even more embarrassed at witnessing such a private moment. She would have liked to see the expression of total devotion and affection on Near's face again, but the slight glimpse she'd gotten when the albino cuddled the older boy was enough to have her smiling and calming herself. That is, until the little brat spoke again.

"Mello should not be bothered so. Hal was not staring at his scars in a negative way. She was admiring Mello's gorgeous body. Though in my opinion Mello would be a lot prettier if he'd take the rest of his clothes off again. It is time for Hal to leave, now, so we can have sex again."

Before either blond could utter a word, the eldest member of the SPK had strolled by. Rester had only caught a glimpse, heard a few words, but even with the warnings he'd received, he had not been prepared for that. The substitute Watari doubled his pace down the hall, breaking into a jog when he thought himself out of sight. The albino seemed completely oblivious to this, his nose pressed into the back of Mello's neck, but the other two had noticed and could not help but break into fits of laughter.

"Someone should have warned him, poor bastard." Mello spoke when he was finally able, while trying to push the insistent albino away long enough to finish the conversation with Hal. He was feeling quite sure of himself now, since Hal was indeed blushing and turning her gaze from the couple. Matt had been right! She did have a thing for him. It felt nice...if not a little strange.

"I...did...actually..." Hal managed to spit out between gasps. She couldn't feel too bad for Rester, as she was currently suffering herself. And he had been made aware of the history between the two, and had known that Mello had not left the building the previous night.

Just then, as if both the boys thought that the moment wasn't quite uncomfortable enough, as if they thought that Hal had had her laugh and they both preferred the previous discomfort, they kissed. Mello had initiated it, turning his head just enough to catch the lips of the younger boy. She knew it was more show than actual need, as she could see when their tongues met, could hear her employer's moan of encouragement. Mello turned around, wrapping his arms around the shorter boy's neck. The sheet dropped and Hal felt as if she were witnessing one of those train wreck moments when you don't want to see it, when your eyes can't even believe what their witnessing but you're just unable to avert your gaze and save the mind from burning the image forever into memory.

Hal remembered a morning when she'd had to drag the little one out of bed, when not even bringing a pile of toys and dumping them in his lap had made him get up. She yanked the blanket off, been given a view of the child wearing absolutely nothing. Her first thought had been concern at how thin he really was. The pajamas that he insisted wearing every day clung to his thin frame, hung off his shoulders like he was made of wire and skin, not muscles and bones. She'd felt motherly towards him then, able to see him nude and think of him as just a little boy as she helped him into his clothes. It was what made her surprised to find out that Mello took the 'female' role in the relationship. Near had looked so small that morning, so innocent when he only lifted his arms and allowed her to do up his buttons.

Now the sight of his nudity only made the woman blush, finally avert her eyes when it was becoming obvious that Near was quite enjoying the kiss that was deepening still. She cleared her throat, and thanked whatever gracious being that looked out for her when Mello pressed his body fully against Near's, just so she didn't have to see the albino's physical reaction. She cleared her throat when Near grabbed one of Mello's legs, his hand on a thigh to support it around his waist. Mello sighed, throwing his head back, looking over his shoulder and winking at her.

"Alright, children, that is quite enough. There is work to do and I expect both of you to be downstairs and fully dressed, in your own clothes in five minutes." She was ignored. "I mean it! Near, Mello, get your skinny asses downstairs right this instant!" Hal marched away then, seconds later hearing the click of the bedroom door shutting, a fit of giggles from the blond inside. They'd be down. They'd had their moment.

*************************************************

It was another fifteen minutes after the former Secret Service agent had made her way to the main room before the couple joined. She was quietly setting up the communication equipment as she waited, assisted by a redheaded computer genius that was being surprisingly professional at the moment.

"Hey, afternoon sleeping beauty!" Matt turned to see his best friend smiling hand in hand with Near. "I'm glad you two have made up, but have you got to be so obvious about it. That's bloody disgusting." Knowing how difficult it had been for the two to let go of their pride, how happy his best friend was to have his lover back again, it would have been smart of the redhead not to make such a fuss, but it couldn't be helped. Nothing in this world would halt the turning of his stomach when he thought of them together, when he saw the way Near kept looking at Mello's ass in his leather pants.

"Matt is only jealous, and possibly sexually frustrated." Near knew better of course, saw the way that his female employee blushed and squirmed uncomfortably next to the hacker. He'd thought Hal somewhat uptight when they first met, and she was often quick to annoyance, to bitching at the men around her for no apparent reason. But this morning she had seemed light on her feet, and had had...well, Mello called it 'sex hair'. Not that the albino wouldn't have figured it out on his own, but Mello had stated that Matt did in fact have a thing for older women, and Hal was very pretty, almost as pretty as his Mello...He suspected that if something hadn't happened yet, that it would soon.

"Wrong again, mate. I'm quite satisfied, thank you." The hacker debated momentarily on whether or not to slap his lady friend on the ass to punctuate his statement. He made due with smirking in her direction, laying a hand over hers where she gripped the armrest of her chair. Of course it was slapped away. The redhead laughed, jumping back as if he'd been burned. The look she gave him could have stood it's own against one of Mello's patented 'don't fuck with me' expressions.

"Can we please get to work? It's going to be a long afternoon as it is, and much of it has already been wasted." Hal cast a glance at Mello and Near, rolling her eyes when she was ignored. The blond had been pulled into the lap of the younger boy, was now straddling Near's hips. "Mello! Near! I swear on my badge I will separate the two of you and lock you away. Maybe I was wrong, maybe your friend Matt here would be better suited to confront Kira."

"Well, considering the plan my best mate has come up with, you might very well be right. Eh, Mello?" Immediately the blond froze in his actions, turning to cast a glare in Matt's direction. He still wasn't sure if he was going to go through with it, especially now. But as much as he cared for the albino he just couldn't bring himself to conjure up the faith in the younger boy to carry out whatever his plans might be. Matt had said he was willing to go along with it, apprehensive as he seemed.

"Shut. The. Fuck. Up." The blond looked nervously from the albino to the redhead, casting the later an icy stare, willing him to shut his mouth. He hoped Matt could see what he was imagining, all the times he'd beaten him up as a child, how much stronger and faster he was than the redheaded teen. Matt just smiled, reaching into a pocket for his cigarettes. He placed one between his lips, looking from each person in the room and back to his work, daring anyone or anything to deny him of his vice.

It'd been killing Matt since the night that the blond first proposed the plan. At first it seemed like nothing more than Mello's depression getting the better of him, his thoughts rambling psychotically as they did when he was under too much stress. In fact, the idea sounded so crazy that the hacker not only believed it impossible to actually work, but that the blond wouldn't even dare go through it. After all the insane bullshit schemes that Mello had dragged his friend into, this one was the worst. There was no way in hell he'd do it. No way in fucking hell.

That was until the evening before he'd spoken to Hal. It had been late, the gamer tapping away peacefully on his PSP, occasionally cheering loudly as he cleared a level. It was rare for Mello to sit around and do nothing but there he'd been, seated closely with his best friend, smiling and patting him on the back when the younger boy pumped his fist in the air. He'd cleared his throat several times, and when Matt was finally annoyed at the disturbance enough to ask if Mello would like him to fetch something to drink, the blond had quietly trod into the kitchen and returned with a bottle of liquor. That was when Matt set down the game without even bother to save, trying to wrench the bottle from his friend's hands.

The redhead had been allowed to take the liquor, and soon realized that it had been meant for him anyway. He'd laughed as he took the first swig directly from the bottle, though he knew that bad news was about to come. He'd joked, asking if Mello was about to tell him he was pregnant or something, and the blond did laugh. The noise ended up in a sound like a hiccup, muffled by the older boy's face in his hands. It was the only way, he said. There was no other option. He was sorry. He needed Matt's help, but he wasn't going to ask him to die for him. For the cause, yes, for the world, for L's memory, but not for him.

They'd hugged, Matt promising that if he were to go through with the plan, the insane suicidal mission that couldn't possibly work, that he would be doing it for Mello. The redhead knew without a shadow of a doubt that the plan was for Near, it was obvious even as Mello went on and on, more convinced with each sentence. He was doing this because Near was too stupid to solve the case on his own. The albino didn't have the guts, the ambition, the skills to see it through. But Matt knew the real reason. Near was not the self-sacrificing type, sure, but it had already been proved that no matter the precautions taken Kira would prevail against them all. The blond had decided that life wasn't worth living anymore, had all but given up. Maybe a part of it was to have the last laugh. If he solved the puzzle, put all the clues together before Near's eyes, then he would have won. Of course he'd be dead, but then there would be no contest. Mello would be the ultimate hero, and even if it /did/ fail, how could he know? You can't argue with a dead man.

So he made promises, he made arrangements. The hacker spent the night loading weapons into his car, tracing the routes with printed out maps, serving Mello all the chocolate treats he could stand while the blond went over the fine details. He kept promising that they'd live, that all he meant to do was kidnap Miss Takada and get her to confess. He was terrifying like that, he stated with a great deal of pride. Of course the hacker was somewhat at fault for it, having hacked into Near's system and collected information that the albino had stolen from the Japanese police. Miss Takada was Kira's spokeswoman, which was suspicious enough, but further spelling out her guilt was the fact that she was meeting with a member of the Japanese police force regularly.

In Near's headquarters, the hacker pulled out the information he'd saved, all their careful planning and maps, and displayed them on the wall of monitors above their heads. He expected his friend to jump out of his seat, to pummel him for tattling. Mello only sat in Near's lap, looking vaguely guilty. It was unusual for the blond to react this way, which was a good sign. Matt had been right to panic, to seek help from the beautiful blond agent at the last minute. Their plan was only a few days away from completion. And, hey, if Mello did kill him right here at least he'd gotten laid one final time.

"Mello's plan was genius, really, if you think about it. I don't know all the details, 'cause the bastard doesn't trust me. Rightfully so, I suppose." The redhead waited for the inevitable, for Mello to pounce on him like that time at Wammy's, when they'd been working on a project together, and Near had casually asked Matt for the details. The foolish redhead had answered, too distracted with a game to think that maybe Near wanted the information to get a head up above the blond, to know what his competition was. The albino had come out first in the end, thanked Matt for his help right in front of the blond. That had been the second time the hacker had had his arm broken before the age of ten. He didn't like to think about the first.

No one dared interject as the hacker laid out what details he was aware of, ticking off the obvious reasons why it was a really shit idea on his fingers.

"I can't believe we're still friends..." The blond growled, rising from the albino's lap to stalk towards the redhead. A pale hand came out, grabbing the older boy by a chain hanging from his belt. The blond was yanked back into Near's lap, his face inches from the albino's accusing glare.

"Mello and I will speak of this later. At this moment, he is in my headquarters, and I am in charge." The couple were both stubborn in their own ways, Mello usually pulling a weapon to make his point, where Near delegated to get his own across. He gestured to Rester, then Gevanni. "If Mello has a problem with that, I believe there are plenty of rooms where he could be sent to relax while he thinks about where he went wrong. I am sure my colleagues would be more than happy to escort him to a cell if he wishes to argue."

"Thanks Near." Matt winked at the albino, for once feeling a sense of comradary with the younger boy. Hal set straight to work on connecting them to the imposter L's line, open for communication as previously agreed.

"As Mello will soon hear, I have everything under control." The albino kissed the blond, silencing him and stilling his struggling in the younger boy's lap. "Mello wishes to speak with Kira, yes?" The blonde's eyes opened wide with shock, turning to the screen just as the gothic styled L appeared.

"Hello N." Mello ran to the screen, grabbing the microphone, his finger shaking as it hovered over the button. Near slowly uncurled himself from his seat, standing behind the older boy, finally pressing the button for him when his lover began to shake.

"Hello L. Are we prepared to make final arrangements?" The albino curled a lock of hair around a finger while he spoke, and as the sly smile that Mello hadn't even realized he'd missed appeared on the younger boy's face, the blond couldn't help but wrap his arms around him, kissing his neck as he taunted Kira. Mello whispered something into the albino's ear, and the members of the SPK all stood with their mouths gaping open as Near blushed before kissing the blonde's lips.

The arrangements were made, one of Near's monitors displaying a countdown to the meeting at the Yellow Box Warehouse. Now that it was all in place, Mello was feeling more than a little embarrassed at his plans. He'd apologized over and over, telling Near that he wouldn't have gone through with it now that they were together again, he would never dream of leaving the younger boy now. The albino of course didn't believe a word of it, demanding that all exits be blocked and surveillance be doubled.

Matt and Hal were already arguing over their plans on where they'd stay, the redhead trying to invite himself back to Hal's apartment. "Come on, love, you know you'll feel bad if I die and you rejected me on my last night alive." Mello made a show of gagging when he overheard this, though he was secretly glad that his friend was preoccupied. He still felt terrible for dragging his friend into this, couldn't believe he'd even thought to ask. He was still hoping to convince Near to have Matt locked away during the confrontation. "Oh, sure, Mello. Like you're not torturing the lot of us with that display."

"Matt is just jealous." Near had made his way to the center of the room, surrounded by carefully arranged rows of dominoes. Mello kept reaching out, threatening to poke at the first block. The albino playfully slapped his hand away a few times, before finally giving up and pushing the older boy onto his back. The blonde's arm flew out and the tiles fell one by one, the last toppling over by Rester's feet. The substitute Watari cleared his throat, turning away from the scene.

"Gevanni, I think it's time we packed up for the evening. Care to have a beer with a friend?" Blushing heavily, Gevanni turned to see his employer laying on top of a leather clad teenager, sucking at an exposed collar bone while the older boy gripped a fist-full of white curls.

"Just one?" The brunette asked, grabbing his wallet as he made his way to the elevator. Rester threw his coat over his shoulder, jogging to catch up with his younger coworker just as a low moan escaped the lips of a very distracted young blond. Near's fingers were digging into one of Mello's hips, and the older boy responded by opening his legs and allowing the albino to lay between them as they kissed and pawed at each other.

"Yes, do get out." Near called as they piled into the elevator, Matt and Hal close behind.

"Love you, Mells." The redhead called, his arm slipping around Hal’s waist. She mirrored the gesture, deciding she might as well give in to the charming hacker. He was cute, brilliant, and her employer was currently undressing the former object of her affections anyway. Also, this young man had yet to pull a gun on her. The woman shook her head, clearing her mind of the confusing thoughts. She needed a drink as well.

The blond pushed Near away long enough to wave and blow a kiss at his best friend. "Love you too Matty. Now get out."

The peace between them lasted for no more than two minutes, Near trying to silence Mello when he could see the proverbial wheels turning, Mello trying to push Near away but struggling with his own desires to just let go. But it was impossible for the blond, there was no way he was going to let the albino win any argument, let alone something this monumental.

"You know I'm right. What the hell are you going to do when you get there, huh? You have no solid proof." Near placed a palm over the blonde's mouth, drawing back quickly when he felt the older boy's mouth open, ready to strike. Mello did not like to be silenced. "Come on, Near. I can see it now. You just going to point at him and say, 'you're Kira' and expect them to believe you? This is fucking ridiculous."

The albino tried a different approach, pulling the blond into his lap, kissing him and whispering for him to just please be still for a moment. The blond almost gave in when the younger boy began kissing him, tugging at his belt. Either of their plans could be fatal, and Matt had said it himself. Wouldn't they regret it if they didn't take the chance to enjoy each other before it was too late. The albino felt his worries melting away, sensing that he'd won when the blond moaned in encouragement at the younger boy's mouth on a nipple. "I believe it is time for us to retire to bed, don't you think?"

"Uh huh." The blond had began unbuttoning Near's pajama top before he realized what was going on. The bastard had almost tricked him into it, had almost distracted him. Mello leapt out of the younger boy's lap, standing and placing his hands on his hips. Near almost laughed at the sight. The blonde's skin was already flushed, his breathing uneven. But Mello was stubborn enough that he was able to ignore his desires, was able to concentrate on the fight. "No! You fucking know I'm right, goddamn it!" Mello sighed. "I'll admit there's some flaws in the plan, yes, but it's the only way to do it. We have to be sure. There's only one way to do it."

"If I agree to it, will you shut the hell up?" Near looked to his lap, frowning. He'd gone years without the blonde's touch, had managed to mostly keep his cool and ignore his teenaged hormones. Now with the older boy standing there, vest unzipped, pacing back and forth like a caged animal, he couldn't think straight. Near waited, sensing that the blond wouldn't trust him even if he swore to follow his lead. However, Mello did have a point. There was no way of knowing if the notebook in Mikami's possession was authentic. So as much as he'd have liked to follow in their mentor's footsteps, to tell just a little white lie and then continue on as he saw fit, he had to agree. They had to test it.

"That's pretty much the only way." Mello smirked, coming to sit back in the albino's lap. It was lovely to finally have the control he felt he'd lost in the relationship, to have the upper hand. Matt had asked thousands of times why he allowed Near to be the top in the relationship, and he'd explained that Near actually had very little control because of that fact. Not to mention the blond preferred it that way, but he wasn't about to say that aloud. At least not in the redhead's presence.

"I will go along with it. But Mello has to assure me that he will survive it. I will not tolerate a sacrifice of his life, for whatever reason. If Mello dies it would destroy me."

**************************************************************

Most of the team had complained, saying that as ex law enforcement agents it went against everything they'd learned. It went against not only their promises when given their various titles, but their very morals. Mello had shrugged it away, saying that once they'd signed up for the SPK they'd done the same thing. This hunt was suicide, every time they went undercover, Hal following Misa, Gevanni following Mikami, they were putting their lives on the line. It was no different for him and Matt, though the plan wasn't exactly textbook.

The redhead had actually been quiet when Near and Mello explained how they'd joined minds (for once) and covered the details. It was simple really, and should go off without a hitch if everyone followed orders to the letter. Still, when the morning of the kidnapping came, Matt had been pacing Hal's living room throughout the night, chain smoking and muttering to himself. When Hal awoke, the redhead was standing by her kitchen table, his weapons laid out before him. Lidner came up behind him, wrapping her arms around his naked upper body. He stubbed out his cigarette, turned to kiss her. There were tears in his eyes, and the woman knew well enough to ignore them, that it would do no good to point out his nervousness, or let her own fears show. She placed the redhead's goggles that had been hanging around his neck back over his bright green eyes, unable to see the redness in them anymore.

"Above all else, you're to make sure Mello gets out. That is top priority. I was third for a reason love. It's my duty to support them. I have no desire to walk over their corpses and take the title." Matt tried a smile, though his hands were shaking when he laid one against the woman's cheek. "I fucking hate your boss. I really do. But I want them both to see this through."

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Near waited until the last minute to make his own complaints, trying to pull Mello back into bed as he dressed in his biking gear. He'd pulled the helmet over his head so that the albino couldn't distract him anymore with pleading kisses. Mello had been surprised to see the younger boy pick up his weapon, checking that it was loaded and the safety was on before tucking it into the blonde's pants. "Never thought I'd see you touch one of those. Who taught you how to use one?"

"L." The single letter was spoken so quietly that Mello could barely hear it, and when Near had spoken he looked away, as if it was blasphemous to use it, though he'd been going by the title for some time. He still felt guilty about that, knowing that Mello didn't think him even close to worthy of the name. "I love you Mello."

"I love you too Near." The blond pulled up the visor of his helmet to look the albino in the eyes. They held hands, watching the clock ticking down the seconds until they'd have to leave. "Whatever happens, I love you. I should never have left the way I did. I know now why you said it. I understand." Mello was thankful for the visor, glad that his lover couldn't see his blush. "I was jealous of Hal when we met. She got all the months I missed with you. I wish I could have them back." The albino opened his mouth to speak, but the blond held up a hand for him to wait. "If I don't survive, and you find someone else, I'll come back to fucking haunt you. Got it?"

"Mello does not have to worry. As I have said, if he dies, I will die with him." Mello knew better than to try for one more kiss, that they'd had the moment last night and it would only cheapen it to have it again now. Neither of them had been thinking of anything but one another when they made love last, and one more touch would be poisoned with their fear and doubts. They didn't even say goodbye. Mello walked out, clutching his rosary and praying that it would all go smoothly. Maybe he didn't deserve it, but Near needed him and god just had to let him come back. He couldn't hurt the younger boy like that again. Though he had not voiced it, the promise that he'd return hung heavy in the air between them. Mello had left the Near once and he begged god not to force him to do it again.




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