A/N: Ehhhhh... I'm back from a (probably unnoticed) absence. ...I was temporarily unable to access a computer, and also was messing about on the L/Raito bandwagon, so my MelloxNear muse ran off for a vacation in Hawaii. They always go to Hawaii. That's how I was able to find her again. Yeah. So a quickie one-shot before I go and lazily pretend to berate myself into continuing my other stories. (Don't hold your breath people.) If you can't figure out what inspired this story then... you don't pay enough attention. xD

Disclaimer: These things are like, black holes for creativity, I swear. I dunno... whatever. I don't own Deathnote.

Summary: Lets play a game. MelloxNear

Title: Darts

It was a ridiculous thing to give to a boy with violent tendencies. Still, one might argue that it was an 'outlet' of sorts, a way to stab things without actually damaging anything (or anyone) of significance. Than again, that theory would only be valid if Mello actually aimed for the dartboard.

"Ow!" Matt wrapped his fingers around the dart protruding from just above his elbow, and pulled. It slid out with a somewhat nauseating squelch! "That was uncalled for!" He glared at his so-called best friend, lounging against the wall of the playroom roughly five feet away. Matt himself was seated comfortably in an over-sized bean bag chair. A few other children playing various activities glanced over to see what the commotion was, then went back to their games. Interfering with the blonde spitfire known as Mello was something only Matt (and Near though that was semi-unintentional) was ever brave enough to do.

"...Yeah, probably." Mello shrugged, splaying a set of five more darts between his fingers. "Still, you deserved something for that last comment, and I already had these in my pocket."

"You just carry those around with you?" Matt blanched, making a mental note not to poke fun at Mello while within range anymore.

"...Sometimes." Mello shifted his eyes to the left briefly. Matt contemplated the idea of throwing the dart back at Mello, then decided that the wound didn't hurt all that much and it would be best to keep it that way. Instead he tossed it to the floor at Mello's feet. The blonde stooped and picked it up, tucking the handful in his pocket again.

"Why don't you ever play the game?" A calm voice suddenly questioned, interrupting from the far corner of the playroom. The duo turned to see Near, curled in his usual position, crashing robots together gently and not even returning their stares.

"What do you mean?" Matt, the more civil of the two, replied. Mello let out a low growl, insinuating that he wasn't pleased with any non-violent/insulting conversation regarding Near.

"Mello enjoys playing with the darts, but he never uses the dartboard. Why don't you want to play the game?" Near finally looked up, setting his toys aside for the moment. Mello and Matt shared a glance. Matt shrugged.

"What's it to you?" Mello sneered, slipping his hand back in his pocket, wondering how much trouble he'd get in for pincushioning Near. Wondering if it would be worth it.

"May I play?" Near cocked his head inquisitively.

"No. It's mine." Mello responded automatically.

"Oh." Near looked away again, reaching once more for his robots. Mello felt a spurt of annoyance, for some reason that he couldn't fathom the blonde hated the loss of Near's attention.

"Unless we played against each other, I guess. It would be fun to beat you." Mello grinned devilishly. Not that he really expected to win, he'd never beaten Near at anything before, but he'd sure as hell try. And it would be an excuse to 'lose his temper' and maybe do some damage if he did lose...

Mission accomplished, Near's gray eyes returned to lock with Mello's. Mello's heart skipped a beat, he wrote it off as anticipation for the chance at victory.

"Great! Dibs on first turn!" Matt broke the moment. Mello scowled at him.

"Who said you get to play?" Mello said. Matt blinked, the expression crossing his face could be described only as 'kicked puppy' in it's utter dejection. Mello twitched involuntarily. "...Fine. Shut up!" He inserted quickly, as Matt brightened remarkably and looked about to give a leap of joy. "I'm going first though."

A brief tussle ensued that finished with Matt on his belly shouting his surrender while Mello sat on his back and twisted his arm. By the time the dramatics were over, Near had been able to carefully put away his toys, and calmly make his way to their side of the playroom. Apparently he didn't much care who went first. Or at least, didn't care enough to risk a Mello-beatdown.

"Alright, so there are six darts, which means we'll each get two, and there will be three rounds. Got it?" Mello informed them. "That's how we're playing, because it's my toy so I get to say so." Matt pouted a bit but said nothing, Near merely held out a hand for his darts. Mello dropped them into his hand then shoved another two at Matt. The redhead scrambled to snatch them, and then the game was on.

Mello was pretty talented, seeing as how he'd been throwing various objects at things (and people... mostly people) for years. He didn't get a bullseye his first shot, but he hit the ring that went around it. Matt stepped up next, and shot his landing just outside of Mello's ring. Then it was Near's turn.

Matt took a deep breath and a few steps away from Mello, fully expecting a defeat and subsequent outburst. Mello clenched his fists, avoiding looking at Near.

The albino pulled back an arm and launched...

The dart bounced off the edge of the board and rolled onto the carpet.

Matt stared.

Mello stared.

Near twirled his hair, not looking bothered in the least. There was a long, awkward silence.

'He has to be messing with me.' Mello thought. 'Near's never bad at anything he does. He's just messing with me, and he'll hit a bullseye on his next turns... well I'll show that brat not to get so cocky!' Mello stepped forward and hurled his second dart straight into the center of the target. He smirked triumphantly, looking over to see Near's reaction. Nothing.

Matt positioned himself in a dazed manner, numbly throwing the dart, but he still managed to hit the second ring from the outside.

Near let loose his final dart... it stuck for a moment on the outermost ring, then dropped to the floor.

"Alright what the hell is going on?" Mello spun on Near, who didn't so much as blink.

"We are playing darts." Near replied simply. Mello huffed.

"I know that!" He snarled. "What I meant was why are you sucking ass!?" This time Near did blink.

"...Excuse... me?" He sounded a bit off-kilter, staring at the blonde strangely.

"Why are you so bad at this!" Mello clarified exasperatedly. Seriously, that kid needed to get out more.

"Oh..." Near gazed at the two darts resting on the playroom floor. "I suppose... it's because I have no prior experience in this game, another a strong factor is that I have poor aim, and the force behind my throws does not appear to be enough for the darts to stay in place. Also the trajectory-"

"Alright, alright I get it!" Mello rolled his eyes. "You could at least try harder though, you know! This is so easy it's pathetic! It's hardly worth winning!" Mello stalked over to collect the darts, then returned and passed them out again. "Round two." He stated.

The whole game went pretty much the same as the first round. So did the second game. And the third. Matt announced his boredom at the beginning of the second game, and went back to his gameboy. When, for the seemingly hundredth time, Near's dart again hit the carpet, Mello lost it.

"What the fuck is fucking wrong with you!?" He hissed, grabbing Near by the shoulders. The pale boy's eyes widened a hairsbreadth, his hands automatically raising to protect himself. "You keep losing! It's not even a challenge! Who the fuck are you!?"

"I am Near..." Near answered monotonously. "Why is Mello so angry? I thought you always wanted to defeat me?"

"What!? Are you saying you lost on purpose or something!?" Mello started shaking Near, but only slightly.

"No. I'm... not strong enough." Near's eyes wavered from Mello's, resting on the wall behind the blonde. The smaller boy's right hand rose to twist in his white curls.

"What... what do you mean?" Mello stopped shaking Near, his grip on the other boy's shoulders lessened.

"I have a muscle deficiency. I'm not strong enough to throw the darts properly... I can calculate the proper target, height, and trajectory, I can configure the right amount of force... I just cannot apply it." Near drawled.

"Then why the hell did you want to play?" Mello sounded utterly mystified. "Just to make me feel bad about beating some wimp?"

"I like playing games, even if I can't win them I... wait... you... feel bad?" Near's eyes refocused on Mello's. Mello's hands flew away from Near's shoulders as if suddenly burned. The blonde practically leaped away.

"I never said that!" He insisted.

"But you do... that's why you were angry." Near discerned.

"Well come on, who wouldn't feel bad? That game was goddamn pitiful, Near!" Mello snorted, "And then you tell me you're like, disabled or something? Come on, it's like racing a kid in a wheelchair. ...Ok maybe not exactly like that, but still."

"But you've always wanted to defeat me." Near repeated.

"I wanted to defeat you because I was better than you. Because we matched up our skills and I came out on top. Not because of some freakin' deficiency that you can't even help! Now I just feel like a jackass." Mello frowned.

"Mello kind of is a jackass." Near pointed out. Mello's mouth dropped open, his head whirling to stare at Near in shock. The blonde viciously began his retort, but then saw Near's expression.

It wasn't the normal blank, utterly emotionless mask. The pale lips normally in a cold straight line, were curved ever so slightly, the wide deep eyes sparkled with something that might be called affection. It took a moment, but then it registered. Near was teasing him! Practically fucking flirting.

"It's ok, though." Near continued, as though oblivious to Mello's bewilderment. "Because I always knew there's something nice in you."

"What because I'm not such a huge bastard that I'd gloat over slamming a gimp in darts?" Mello scoffed, recovering somewhat.

"No. Because in the end... I asked to play. And you let me." Near smiled. Mello stared. And stared. And stared. Then he abruptly turned, snatching the darts off the board, and scooping up the ones on the floor. He stomped over, grabbed one of Near's hands and forced the darts into it.

"There. They're yours now. Practice, maybe you'll get stronger. Come get me when you're a fucking challenge." And Mello was gone again before Near could say a word. If Mello had stayed, he might have taken note of the light blush that had covered Near's face.

"Something really nice." Near amended his earlier statement. He started tossing the darts at the target.


A/N: Don't even start on me about the ooc. Don't even start ok? Because I know it's there. I don't care. As for why Matt didn't speak up... he went back to the bedroom to get some more games. Yeah. Mello and Near just didn't notice because they were too wrapped up in themselves, the self-centered brats. xD As for the other kids in the playroom... they... just didn't care. Yeah. They're all playing monopoly, which as you all know requires much concentration. Plus the whole not getting involved with Mello thing. Yus.

Anyway, REVIEW PLS! I heart teh reviews. Muchly.