All I Want

It was a stupid tradition, in Mello's opinion. Really, what was the point in caroling at an orphanage? Wasn't caroling something one did for their neighbors? If all the kids in the orphanage lived in the same place, then they were not neighbors. Near tried to argue with him about this, but Near was stupid, so Mello didn't pay him any attention.

It served Near right that he was forced to be in the caroling group. Even if that did mean that Mello had to stand with all the others and listen.

When he got outside, Mello decided that it hadn't been a good idea to wear the black t-shirt he planned to wear to bed, because it was cold, especially standing here with nothing to do besides listen to orphans show their pathetic Christmas spirit.

Mello often considered changing his attire to something more substantial—something more mature, perhaps intimidating. He reasoned that one did not gain respect wearing checkered pajama bottoms. So throughout the concert, Mello was lost in his own world, creating his dream wardrobe. It consisted of things he wasn't allowed to wear now, like leather pants and big buckled boots (the orphanage had a strict no-shoes policy indoors). And he promised that when he grew up, at least one bar of chocolate would forever be within his reach.

He was in the process of taking a mental inventory of each of his snuggly fitting items and storing them away in his memory for later when a noise abruptly cut though his fantasies and brought him back to awareness.

Near stood at the front of the group, dressed in white, one finger buried deeply in his hair and twirling away. Mello suspected that the reason Near's hair looked somewhat curly was his annoying habit of twisting his hair around his index finger.

But more important than Near's appearance was the sound coming from his mouth: a clear, angelic voice that could not possibly belong to someone like him.

Near was perfect—he was always first in everything, and then on top of that he had to go and have a talent. It wasn't fair.

Mello watched the carolers finish in awe. After Near concluded his solo, all of the children and adults clapped for him, and Mello was the only unenthusiastic one in the bunch.

And Near stood, not quite basking in the attention but acknowledging it all the same, twirling his hair. He stayed put until the other members of the caroling group had passed him on their way to the door, and then he fell in at the end of the group.

He was almost inside when a quiet voice from behind him caught his attention.

"Near." He turned around, and his vision was filled with glowing amber eyes. Near took a step backward, confronted with the fact that he didn't have anywhere to go when he bumped into the railing. Mello didn't stop coming forward, didn't stop until his hands wrapped around the metal rail, one on either side of Near's body, effectively trapping him there.

Those eyes burned into him, and Near couldn't find his voice. Mello didn't seem to have that same problem; "Your voice is pretty," he accused.

Near blinked, his ears suddenly warmer for some reason. "Thank you."

Mello only scowled at him. Clearly, this was not the right thing to say. "You sing like a girl."

Near blinked again. "Thank you."

Mello threw his hands in the air, giving up, and turned around in a huff, muttering something that sounded suspiciously like 'stupid Near.'

But just as he opened the door to go inside, Near saw him glance back, and he noticed that Mello's cheeks were pink.

"Hmm," he mused as he followed the blond boy inside. It was quite obvious that Mello needed warmer clothing.

Near awoke with a start when he felt something foreign slip between his lips. By the time he realized it was a gag, the material had already been tied behind his head and his screams were not nearly impressive enough to draw attention. Recognizing defeat—his hands and feet had already been bound before he'd woken up—Near relaxed in the large beefy arms of his attacker. It was better to put up no resistance, so that the attacker would drop his guard and give Near the perfect chance to escape.

"That's right, kid. Just do what I say and I won't have to hurt you," the man grunted. Near was shrouded in darkness as something came over his head. A bag of some sort, the material rough and thick. He was lifted unceremoniously over the man's shoulder.

He felt cool air on the bare skin of his hands, and soon after that, he was forced into a small, cramped space. He felt the distinct sensation of fluid movement, interrupted by stops here and there—a car, he surmised.

A while later, he was taken from the trunk and unceremoniously dumped on the ground, and the bag was removed from his head. Near blinked his eyes to adjust them to the sudden light, and caught sight of a familiar face.

"Mello? What's going on?"

Mello frowned. Near was so calm, not nearly as surprised or scared as he should have been. "I paid this man to kidnap you."

Near stared at him. "How?"

Mello had expected a different question, but he could be patient. "I've been saving my money," he couldn't help but boast, poking himself proudly in the chest with his thumb.

"Oh. That's why I haven't seen you eating chocolate lately," Near mused aloud. "I just thought you were saving up to buy someone a Christmas present."

"I was."

Near tilted his head curiously. He felt a strong urge to twirl his hair, but his hands were still tied. Didn't Mello just say he had used his saved money to pay a kidnapper? "Who is the present for, then?"

"The only person who matters to me," Mello said, staring intensely at Near, who gazed up at him with disbelief. When Near didn't get it, Mello snorted and put a hand to his chest; "Myself, obviously."

It became clear to Near, then. "…I'm your Christmas present."

Mello grinned. "Yes."

Near made a thoughtful noise in the back of his throat; "Well, imagine that." He looked up at Mello, eyes wide. "I've never been a present before. What do I do?"

Mello blanked; he hadn't thought that far ahead…he rarely did. Frustrated, he yelled, "How am I supposed to know?"

He threw a mild, speedy temper tantrum, before finally sitting on the edge of the desk and draping one long, checkered pajama-clad leg over the other.

He drew himself up, looking down his nose at Near. "I want you to sing for me," he commanded, as if this had been his intention all along.

"What should I sing?"

Mello scoffed. "Well, Near, I think that's obvious." When Near continued to stare at him, he poked him in the forehead. "Something Christmassy, stupid. You are a Christmas present, after all."

And so Near sang well into Christmas morning—Mello seemed to particularly enjoy his solo, insisting that Near repeat it multiple times.

"All I want for Christmas…is you."

And Mello revised his earlier opinion. Perhaps there was something to be said about Christmas spirit, after all.

I got the idea for this from a joke I heard: 'If an old fat man ties you up and throws you in a big burlap sack…don't be scared, because I told Santa I wanted you for Christmas.'

I've had this on my computer since Christmas, and I'm just now posting it...on the tenth of March. Oops.

There will be more chapters, but not all of them will be Christmas related.