OH HI. Are you new here? Good, good for you. I hope you like it. THERE'S SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW THOUGH, SO HOLD ON. I started writing this in MIDDLE SCHOOL, when I SUCKED AT EVERYTHING. Now, after four years of creative writing classes and some maturity and stuff, I thought to myself, "Hey, I still like this story. It'd be nice if it didn't suck, though." SO I'M REWRITING IT. You can read the crappy crap chapters if you want, or you can go right on ahead and skip over to CHAPTER SEVENTEEN when NICE WRITING HAPPENS. It's your choice, bro.

The day they first met was a joyous day in the otherwise monotone life. Had Near been raised differently before he came to the orphanage, or perhaps if he had never gone there at all, then maybe he would be able to play with the other kids. But no, his life had been as it had, and he was as he was. Although the boy appeared to be void of emotion, there was one man who had sparked a smile on the pale, blank face.

The man he was destined to become.

Well, possibly become. He was competing with Mello to become the famous detectives successor. But considering the he was better than Mello in everything detective related, he was almost certain that he'd be picked. Although he never dwelled on those thoughts for long because he didn't want to get his hopes up only to be rejected, they were always there in the back of his mind.

The day he and Mello met L they were both 9. Mello was openly excited, looking out the window like an eager puppy. Near sat in the corner of the room and worked on an elaborate building of dice. He was just as eager as Mello. He wanted to be at the window, watching to see the black car. But no, he sat there and stacked the die, the only sign of his blinding excitement was the slight tremor in his hands as he skillfully placed the dice where they needed to be.

"He's here!" Mello shouted, clasping his hands over his mouth in excitement. "He's here! He's really, really here!" he shrieked, jumping in joy. Nears heart jumped and his hand shook even more.

"Damn it!" Mello cursed, "He parked where I can't see him!"

Near wanted to point out that he had done that on purpose, to cause suspense, but he didn't trust his voice to not waver. They waited for what seemed to be hours, when the doorknob began to turn, a sure sign that L was entering the room.

The breath caught in both boy's throats as they watched the door slowly open, creaking under the effort. A young L stood there.

Mello gasped; Near was silent, not looking at L directly for more than a second, his eyes dropping to the floor. Mello was first to react.

"L. . ."


"L. . ." Mello said again breathlessly. "It's you. It's really you."

"Yes." L replied, gently closing the door before sitting on the floor, his knees to his chest. "I suppose I'll ask you guys some questions."

"Ok." Mello said, still in shock.

"First question." L started. "There are good people in this world, and there are bad people. But that in itself is to broad. Because there are good people who do bad things. There is a woman who saves a girl from being raped, but ends up killing the attacker in the process. She was trying to do a good thing. She ended up doing a bad thing. Was it justified? Explain."

Mello stared at the messy haired detective, shocked. He wasn't sure what he was expecting, certainly not, "Hey Mello, since you're next in the alphabet, I'll just choose you!" (Even though that would be great in his opinion.) But this? They're only nine for Gods sake! But none the less, young Mello stepped forward, clearing his throat nervously, tucking a wisp of golden blonde hair behind his ear, and spoke.

"The killing was justified. Sure, the killing in itself was wrong, but the events that led up to it give a suitable reason as to why she killed him. So it was justified." and with that he bowed his head and returned to the side of his rival, proud of the answer he gave.

L nodded his head and Near stepped forward.

"Yes," Near said, twirling his hair, "The killing was justified. But that doesn't mean the woman should go unpunished. She may have saved someone from a horrible fate, but in the end she took another human's life." Near bowed and took a step back, but someone grabbed onto the boys arm.

"Self defense." L said quietly. "She would plead self defense."

"B-but she wasn't the one being attacked. The other girl was." Near stuttered nervously. Something flickered across L's dark eyes, but near had no idea what emotion it was. L let go of Nears arm. "Shall we go out for a treat?"

And that was how they found themselves in a cake shop.

L told them, "Order what you want." And Mello, of course, ordered the most chocolate covered thing they sold. Near, however, had no idea what to get. So he just stood there, his hair falling victim once again to his deft fingers, staring at the fattening cake. L must have noticed the young boy's dilemma.

"What do you want?"

Near shook his head. "I don't know."

"He doesn't eat many sweets." Mello informed. "I think he's afraid of getting fat."

Near didn't bother to point out the fact that although he is not afraid of getting overweight, that he, unlike Mello, who consumed enough chocolate regularly to overwhelm a menstruating girl on Valentines Day, is at a severely reduced risk of gaining any sort of weight, unlike the blonde.

"Hmm," L hummed thoughtfully, "Do you mind if I order for you then?"

Near shook his head, white-platinum curls falling into his eyes.

"A slice of double chocolate and two slices of strawberry, please."

After getting the cake and sitting down at a table near a window, Near held a fork in his right hand and stared at the strawberry flavored mass in front of him. L was devouring his strawberry cake, sitting in that peculiar way of his. He must have noticed that Near hadn't touched his cake.

Near watched through his mess of light colored curls as a fork shaved off a the tip of his slice. He looked up to see L holding a fork with the missing piece on it.

"Do you want it?" L asked.

Near opened his mouth to reply, but before he could say anything, L stuck the forkful of cake between his pale lips.

Shocked, Near opened his mouth wider and L took this opportunity to deposit the cake on the boy's tongue. He withdrew the fork and smiled as the Near swallowed the cake.

"It's good . . . " he thought to himself. Then a thought raced though his mind. He was holding his fork. L was holding his, and Near observed that the fork L was holding had whipped cream residue. From watching L eat before, he knew L would have licked it off. Which means–

"–L had just me with his fork."

The young boy blushed deeply at the realization. L smiled as he saw Near blush and hide his face. Mello, however, didn't seem to notice the other two's moment. He instead went on with the rant that had started when L fed Near, and how Near could feed himself.

On the ride home, Near stared out the window and thought about the fork incident. Was it really that big of a deal? Why was his heart still beating frantically?

When they got out of the car, L leaned down and hugged Mello. Mello said goodbye and that it was nice to meet him all in one breathless jumble before running off calling for Matt. Near waited nervously for L to hug him goodbye, his slender arms staying wrapped around the detective's waist for a second too long, the detective hugging him tightly back before climbing into the car and bidding young Near farewell, leaving Near to contemplate this odd feeling in stomach and his furiously beating heart.

After all, he had never had a crush before.