Months had passed and Mello had felt the difference clearly. It seemed like Near's soul had disappeared into nothingness. His eyes were cold and did not show the mysterious warmth anymore. The blonde couldn't even remember the last time he had heard his voice, presentations for school were exceptions. Near's grades were the highest ever, and at the same time he was the coldest ever. Whenever Mello saw him he was reading or studying.

".. It's nagging you isn't it?"
"It so is not!"
"……… Mello."
"… Maybe a little.."
Matt sighed and shook his head. "Why the sudden change?"
"Why do you think, that puzzle clearly had something to do with it…"
"… Now that I think of it, I can't remember him being with the rest of us when we were doing the Christmas activities..?"
"Well, yeah….." He muttered.
"You're going to talk to him, aren't you?"
"….. You're implying something…"
"Maybe…" Mello grinned.

After leaving the room and Matt behind, he walked to Roger's office. He knocked twice before entering without waiting for an answer. "Hey Roger!" He smiled. "Ah, Mello… What brings you here?... You didn't get in any trouble again, did you?"
"Nope! I promise! I came to ask you something."
"What is it?"
"Do you have more of those blank puzzles?"


After lunch, Mello walked out of the dining room alone. Matt was busy discussing something with Linda, and Mello took the opportunity to get away and search for Near. It wasn't hard to find him. He was in the library. Again.
"Hey…" Mello held his hand up as a greeting.
No answer. The blonde sat next to the albino as an awkward silence fell and Mello wasn't fond of them. So he did what was best to halt the silence. Straightforwardness.
"The drawing on the puzzle. Was it your family?"
The albino looked up. "……No. It was how my family was supposed to be."
Mello scratched his head. "Alright.. I guess." He unwrapped a bar of chocolate. "So, are you homesick?"
Near opened his mouth and closed it again. Instead, he sighed. "It's hard to feel homesick if you don't have a home…"
Mello snorted. "Wise-ass."
The two boys looked each other in the eye, for the first time in a long while. A silence fell again. Something awakened inside of Mello. The passion he felt for Near had slumbered in the back of his head, but by simply looking the boy in his eyes again made the passion in him roar with desire. He felt his heart beat faster against his ribcage. It made him feel alive. If only he could give that feeling of life to Near…

"Hey Near…."
"Yes, Mello?"
"Let's do a puzzle together again."

"You can't just sit and weep about stuff that happened in the past. It's over. Fresh start. You're here now, you're one of us."
"…. I know that Mello."
"Than why the change? Why the cold eyes? Why won't you talk to anyone anymore? Why did you ditch Megatron? He's lonely you know? Matt's trying to keep him company, but he sucks at playing with Transformers.."
The boy smiled. Near smiled. It made Mello's heart jump.
The blonde leaned his chin on his head. The albino looked back at his book again.
Someone tapped the albino on his right shoulder, Near turned to look at the person, but no one was there, when he turned back he felt another pair of lips on his. He was tricked.
Mello was kissing Near.
The little boy felt he book that he was holding slip from his fingers. All the strength in his body had left him and refused to return. All his senses were sharp and he could clearly feel Mello's body close to his. The small distance between them was raided quickly as Mello pulled Near on his lap. It felt warm and secure. The albino held the blondes face in his hands and kissed back.

Shortly after the soft kissing turned into tongues colliding. It was an intense kiss. Mello's desire was satisfied, his whole body felt warm and tingly and he could swear there were literally butterflies fluttering around in his stomach. He slowly let go of the boy, both of them were panting. They looked each other in the eye. Mello smiled. "I've got something for you…" He whispered. "What is it?"
The blonde held the wrapped box in front of Near. The albino took it. "Well, go ahead and open it."
Near took off the wrapping paper carefully. The box was blank. He opened it. It was a puzzle.
"….. A puzzle?" He questioned.
Mello nodded and grinned. "Yeah, go ahead and solve it."
Near glanced at Mello before scattering the pieces on the table and placing the first piece. It was not a hard puzzle. It was actually quite simple. Once he had solved it he was staring at two figures holding hands, one that looked awfully much like himself and the other was a blonde figure holding a chocolate bar.. A heart was drawn above them.