Summary: The underworld was known for its darkness. It was also known for it's nightlife, and a place called "Noir Amour". (Mello/Near)
(Some spoilers for people who have not read volume seven of Death Note.)
The underworld was known for its darkness.
The darkness that would swallow a man; be it a victimized sacrifice or if they walked into its clutches of their own freewill.
The darkness that would hide the most vile of acts, be it simple theft or an unforgivable murder.
The darkness that would entertain its powerful and pretty darklings, keep them safe from the light of day, and crush the light dwellers should they try to enter its forbidden sanctuary.
The underworld was also known for its nightlife and that is where this tale begins, deep in the darkness at the club "Noir Amour".
Pale yellow lights glowed faintly near the tables and bar, giving just enough light so the patrons could see their drinks. The dance floor was a mixture of darkness and flashing colored lights. The soft smooth yellow and the hard torn darkness, two contrasts in the same room.
It was in this contrast that a fair-haired young man, dressed in black leather with a cross dangling from his neck, sat with his companions. He nibbled on a chocolate bar as most of the members in the small group talked and drank, a small snapping sound coming from the teen when he bit off a piece of the chocolate.
Not that interested in his teammates prattle, the young man finished off his chocolate and crushed the wrapper in his gloved grip before standing and starting to walk away.
"Hey, Mello!" One of them called after him, "If you see Eddie make sure to send him our way."
The young man known as Mello raised his hand to show he had heard before walking towards the bar and disappearing.
As he leaned against the bar, one booted foot rested against the counter's wooden front by the bar stools, Mello looked for a potential victim to charm. Find someone he could play with on the dance floor and then seduce into his bed, just for the night. Boy or girl, it didn't matter to him, he could have anyone if he wanted. Scanning the crowd he saw a flash of curling white hair sitting at one of the tables in the yellow butter light and he blinked.
What was HE, of all people, doing in Noir Amour?
Pushing away from the bar to get a better look, Mello moved closer and confirmed what he had seen before.
The person, the one who sat in the safe yellow light, one leg tucked up, twirling his white hair, was Near.
It was Near.
Granted, he was older then Mello last saw him at the orphanage, and he was dressed in black and dark blues instead of his normal white clothes, but Mello knew it was him. He knew it as sure as he breathed air.
Mello smiled. Well, it seemed that he had found his prey.
Walking over, Mello wondered if Near would recognize him. He hadn't changed that much in the past years; he still wore black, and while he wasn't the same child he had been, he still wore his emotions on his sleeve, something Near never did.
Near was like a castle of marble stone. Cold but smooth to the touch, hiding something precious in its interior, protected from everyone by every defense known to man, Near was keeping himself safe.
Mello remembered trying to get past those walls when he and Near where still children. Oh how he had tried to find that precious and fragile part of Near that the boy protected with all of his strength. Mello had tried so hard, and when he couldn't get past those cold stonewalls, he had raged and yelled, upset at his failure. Then, he found out that L had died and he left the orphanage.
Left the warmth and safety it provided.
Left the sun-bathed world.
Left Near, still locked in his marble castle.
Shaking himself out of his thoughts, Mello slid in the seat opposite of Near and waited for the young man to notice him.
Near didn't look up at him, his eyes focused on a sudoku puzzle he was working on, but he did speak.
"Hello, Mello." He said, tonelessly.
Mello's lips pressed into a line as he frowned.
Near was still so emotionless, detached, blank.
"Still so cold, Near?" Mello sneered, gesturing with his one hand, the other supporting his head, "I would think that getting into the real world would melt your ice. By the way, aren't you with the FBI now? Why are you not with them?"
"I am with them, Mello." Near stated, finally looking up, "I'm undercover right now to gather information on Kira. So please let me work."
With that Near dropped his head and continued with his puzzle.
Mello lifted an eyebrow.
"You call being dressed in dark clothing and sitting here doing nothing, "Gathering information"?" Mello said, "Don't make me laugh."
"I am gathering information." Near stated, his voice rising to almost sound agitated, "I'm listening to the people around me. So if you'd be kind enough to be quiet Mello I can get back to my job."
That last part was almost a snap and Mello smiled before he could let himself get angry at being spoken to that way. He was finally breaking through Near's shields.
Now, he just had to find a crowbar to pry Near apart.
"You alone?" Mello asked, watching Near for any type of answer. If he was going to get past Near's defenses, he had to make sure no one was around to help the white haired young man.
"I decided to do this part of the investigation on my own," he said, "The others would have brought to much attention to themselves."
Mello almost snorted. To him, Near, sitting there quietly while everyone else danced or talked and drank, stuck out like a sore thumb.
"Well," Mello began, his voice smoothing out as he leaned across the table, "If you are trying to be undercover I suggest you act the part a bit more."
Near looked up. "And how to you propose I do that?" he asked, barely sounding curious.
Mello smiled again and leaned towards Near.
"Come dance with me." He whispered, his forehead almost touching Near's, "I'll make sure no one thinks twice about you."
Backing up to give Near some room, Mello watched as Near looked at the dance floor, at Mello, then at his puzzle.
"Alright," he said, nodding. Then, without another world he stood and began walking towards the dance floor, leaving Mello to catch up.
When Mello met up with Near again, the white haired young man was standing on the very edge of the dance floor, waiting.
It was only when Mello came up from behind and put his hands on Near's shoulders that the young man seemed to breathe.
"What's wrong?" Mello whispered, his lips barely touching the soft shell of Near's ear, "Are you afraid?"
"No." Near said, perhaps a bit to quickly, turning around to face Mello.
"Good." Mello said, his hands gently squeezing Near's shoulders, as he began to push the younger boy back, onto the dance floor.
Near's hands came up and latched around Mello's arms, not liking that he was being forced to walk backwards. However, Mello didn't let up until they were away from the relative safety of the soft yellow light.
"M-Mello," Near stuttered slightly, "I don't think this will help my investigation. I would like to go back."
"It's alright, Near." Mello soothed, his hands trailing down to Near's back and side. "I'll protect you."
"It's you I don't trust, Mello." Near stated.
He didn't need to ask why, he already knew. Back at Whammy's Mello had never gotten along with Near. Near always seemed to best him in almost everything, no matter what he did. People even came to say that Mello hated Near with a passion.
But that wasn't completely true.
Yes, Mello often got angry at Near. After all, any person would when they kept trying their hardest and when the other person beat them, but didn't seem to care about being the best.
All those times Near had done better than everyone else, the young boy hadn't seemed to care. He had built the stonewalls so thick and tall around himself that he didn't let anyone see any of his emotions; emotions that could be used as weapons to hurt him. Even when L came over those few times before the man's death, Near had shown only a small amount of happiness. A small smile, a tiny laugh, letting himself be hugged. That was all he ever showed.
At that, Mello began to grow angry.
How Dare He.
How Dare He!
How dare Near be so unfeeling. So cold. After all that had happened. After all that he had but Mello through, Near had the nerve to say that Mello hated him. Just because it was his own fault for making Mello the way he was.
Swiftly, his eyes hard, features pulled into something resembling anger, Mello grabbed Near's chin in his hand and force Near to look at him.
At the sudden action, Near stared, his eyes large as he tried to keep the fear out of them but failed.
Then Mello spoke.
"Just shut up and dance with me, Near."
Then, he tilted Near's head and kissed him, gently, softly. Without any hate or malice or cruelty, Mello kissed him.
Near's eyes, wide as they were, grew to almost twice there original size before he relaxed, his eyes growing soft before shutting completely. His arms wrapped themselves around Mello's neck, and he drank in the kiss.
It ended all to soon. Much to soon.
When Mello broke away, Near had only one thing to say.
The marble castle had a crack. It was a small crack, just large enough for a person to feel the imperfection of it in the smoothness of the marble, but it was there.
The anger replaced by a serene calm, black eyes soft, Mello let his fingertips gently ghost over Near's skin as they danced together. Over Near's throat, jaw line, lips, light touches to show he meant no harm.
Mello did not hate Near. He did not like that fact that he always seemed to be second to everything Near did, but he did not hate Near as a person. He loved him, in some strange but gentle way, he loved him.
And in a way, Near loved him too because Near touched right back. Pulling off Mello's gloves he twined their hands together and pressed himself close, his head tucked under Mello's chin.
It was in this way the two of them spent most of the night, dancing in each other's arms until their legs grew too tired to keep them up and they retired to the hidden rooms of Noir Amour. Secret rooms of warmth and velvet that new lovers, pure and untainted, vanished into with soft whispers and even softer touches.
Neither Mello or Near were prefect, but they found solace in each other, wrapped in the sweet darkness of Noir Amour.
When Mello and Near parted ways, they returned to the lives they led, no matter how different those lives were to each other.
The FBI was concerned when Near returned after that long night, with nothing but a shake of his head when they asked him if he found anything about Kira and a soft smile on his face they had never seen before.
The gang members questioned Mello back in their dark office building. Where had he been all night? Surely no girl was worth staying out until 11:30 in the morning? Had he seen Eddie? But all he did was give them all a rather frightening smile to make them be quiet.
Author's Note: All right, well please tell me if you liked it. I have only read up to the seventh volume of Death Note. Mello and Near have only shown up in the last one fourth of volume seven so I don't know if I got their personalities correct. If I didn't get it right please tell me what I did wrong, but other than that, thank you for reading. If I get enough reviews I may continue the story or write one about L and Light. See you later.