Almost certainly the only fluffy MN I've ever likely to write!

Curiosity

"For someone so smart, you're awfully dense," Mello says, trying to put as much contempt as possible into his voice.

Near's as immune to it as always, though. He clicks another block onto his Lego construction and frowns at it, but when he looks up at Mello, his face is blank. "What are you talking about?"

"Valentine's Day," Mello says. He considers for a moment. Linda and Ophie have obviously been plotting, and much as he'd like to see them catch Near unaware, something makes him add, "Haven't you noticed the girls peeking at you? I'd look out if I were you."

"What makes you assume I want to avoid them?"

"You..." Mello sputters. "You do, don't you?"

A tiny, tiny smile, gone so quickly Mello thinks he might've imagined it. "Are you... joking around with me?" he says.

"Maybe."

Mello can't help it; he laughs.

Near definitely smiles this time.

"So you are curious?"

"Not about them."

Mello knows Near well enough to catch the significance of the distinction he's making, and maybe the fact that Near actually made him laugh has shorted out his brain a bit, but he kneels down and looks at him. "Not about them, huh?"

Near shakes his head. His eyes look very wide. Because no one ever gets this close to him, or because...?

Mello doesn't even think about it; he leans in and kisses him, surprising them both, really, and the little gasp Near gives when Mello licks into his mouth sends a thrill through him that's only partly smugness at being better at this one thing. Near kisses awkwardly and a bit sloppily, but Mello can feel his heart pounding and doesn't mind at all.

"You do taste like chocolate," Near says when Mello finally moves away.

"That's what you were curious about?"

"Maybe."