Hello, mysterious denizens of the Death Note fandom. I've been floating about here for quite a while, but I've never actually written a DN fic…so I suppose you can consider this my first foray into your wonderful world. It's a shame that I'm starting off with what I'll cheerfully admit is total crack, but I'm fairly certain it's well-punctuated crack at the very least.

As for this fic in itself, I've noticed that Mello is always the one accused of being a girl. So, my genius brain came up with the idea of such a thing…not happening. Mysterious to you? Then read, fool. Read.

Leave me reviews, please, especially if you have something to say about my characterization. I welcome your praise/anger/molestation.

DISCLAIMA': I do not own Death Note. Neither do you, I'll bet. So don't judge me.

----this is where it starts down there under this here line---

A new day dawned brightly on LA, or at least the parts of it that were still clean enough to reflect the sunlight. The cheerful morning sun crept into the windows of irritated nine-to-fivers, transvestites, and wanted criminals alike, causing a unanimous reaction of "Oh God, it's too early."

Despite the intrusive qualities of the aforementioned sunlight, an argument that had started several hours ago was still going strong in the apartment of two young prodigies by the names of Mihael Keehl and Mail Jeevas.

"You're wrong, Matt. Wrong. If we pull this plan off, Near will be completely destroyed. It's…genius. This plan is utter genius."

"If 'we' pull it off? There's no way I'm getting involved in this, Mello. Near has really been getting to you if you're thinking of plans like this. I mean, this makes no logical sense whatsoever, you do realize that?"

Mello scowled from his spot on the carpet at the gamer, who was sprawled on a moldering couch with PSP in hand.

"Matt, listen to me. What we know about the current L and his Task Force indicates that if this plan succeeds, Near will lose all influence over them. And if this is so…what do you think will happen?"

Matt clicked 'Pause' reluctantly and stared up at Mello, expression unreadable behind orange goggles. He sighed. "Nothing will happen, because it's not going to work."

Mello's eyes narrowed dangerously, and Matt was suddenly relieved that the blonde's gun was in a different room entirely.

"Matt. When have any of my plans failed?"

"Never," the other man admitted, but then added, "But in previous situations, there's been nothing even approximating the danger that Kira and Near pose to us. The stress has gotten to you, Mello. You're not thinking—"

"I don't need your concern, thanks," Mello snapped, his hands now clenched in fists. "What I need is for you to shut the Hell up and provide me with the means to contact Soichirou Yagami."

"Look," Matt said in what he desperately hoped was a calming sort of voice. Setting his PSP aside with a sad glance, he leaned forward. "Let's just go over it one more time before we actually go through with this."

"Fine," Mello muttered, flinging himself onto the seat next to Matt's. "This is how it works. First, you get me in contact with Yagami. Right?"

"Right," Matt said, choking slightly on the smell of old chocolate and leather that permanently hung around his friend. "And then what?"

"Ah, that's when I reveal the secret."

"It's not even a secret, it's a total bloody lie, Mello."

"Fine, that's when I reveal the lie. But it has the same effect." Mello's eyes, formerly angry, had now taken on the spark that could be interpreted as either brilliance or complete psychosis.

Or possibly both.

"So…you tell Yagami that Near is…a girl."

"Yes!" Mello said eagerly, clapping Matt on the back. "Exactly."

"And the purpose of this is to?…"

"Well, we know enough about the Task Force to know that they regard women with complete disdain. It's definitely a group of males, L included, so if we tell them that Near is female, he will lose their respect."

"Why would they even believe that, though? If they've met with him?"

Mello grinned, apparently about to unleash a devastating argument. "First, he has a totally girly voice."

Matt sighed. "I really hope your other reasons are better than that one."

"Oh they are. Allow me to continue. As I'm fairly certain Near hasn't hit puberty, he possesses none of the defining characteristics of manhood. Finally, The task force is probably already quite suspicious of him. If they've been nurturing a dislike for him, they'll be all too willing to believe that he is a female, as they can then justify disregarding his opinion."

Mello, quite satisfied with himself, pulled a bar of chocolate from the coffee table and began to masticate it thoroughly.

" Mello…" Matt ventured, looking slightly disturbed. "I mean…you're sure this isn't a hilariously elaborate joke?"

"Absolutely not. The problem with you, Matt, is that you can't recognize the brilliance of a truly amazing scheme such as this. All you do is electronics, video games and whatever. Thank God you have me to guide us, or Near would have crushed us long ago."

Matt stared dubiously at the other man, seemingly unruffled by the criticism.

"So, I guess we should be happy that Near is obviously the most effeminate Whammy heir," he commented dryly, observing the expanse of tightly laced black leather that made up most of Mello's wardrobe.

"EXACTLY!" Mello shouted, spattering small bits of gourmet chocolate across the lenses of Matt's goggles. "Fortune is in our favor, Matt."

"I can see that," Matt muttered. "So, how is getting rid of Near helping us to catch Kira?"

"Tch, that's simple. With Near gone, I can easily get closer to L without slogging through all of his needlessly elaborate plans. Which isn't to say that I won't take care, but at least I'll only have the one enemy to contend with." Seeing Matt's expression, he added comfortingly, "I meant 'we,' of course. We're in this together, don't think that you won't be helping me!"

"I only wish I couldn't," Matt said inaudibly, reaching forward to reclaim his PSP from the table.

Mello continued to speak, ignoring him utterly. "I think that finally I can give Near a taste of his own medicine. He's always had the advantage because I'm impulsive and emotional, but I've been planning to do this for nearly five whole hours now. That's hardly impulsive, am I right? No, Matt, this time I'm going to catch Kira and ruin Near's reputation in the bargain. I'd like to see him find his way out of this one!"

After another night of restless and interrupted sleep, Aizawa, Matsuda, Mogi, Ide, and the two Yagamis had reconvened in the Task Force headquarters. L, whose role was now filled by Light, had instructed them to monitor the television broadcasts in the hopes of finding some valuable information on Kira.

Everyone was busily engaged in this pointless task when suddenly, Soichirou Yagami's cell phone rang shrilly. With an apologetic glance at the other members of the team, he checked to see who was calling.

He gasped. "Light…it's Mello!"

Light startled out of whatever dark daydream had been occupying his brain with alarm. "Quickly, answer it. What he says may be important."

As the older Yagami brought the phone to his ear, the team clustered around him eagerly but silently.

"Yes? This is Mello, correct?"

"Correct, Yagami-san. How goes your investigation?"

"As well as can be expected, Mello. Tell me, why have you called?"

"Oh, I've decided to share with you some rather stunning information."

Soichirou glanced at Light, who had scrawled "What is he saying?" on one of the stray papers littering the room, and was now brandishing the message with an impatient look. Soichirou motioned for a pen and the paper, and prepared to write down whatever Mello was about to say.

His eyes widened suddenly, mouth falling open in shock as Mello imparted whatever wisdom he had chosen to share. Then, with a start, he scribbled "N is a girl."

Chaos immediately reigned. As Yagami hung up, he heard Matsuda shouting, "I knew it all along!"

Light, with several calming gestures (one of them 'accidentally' smacking Matsuda in the back of the head), managed to stop the panic. As everyone exchanged disturbed glances, he asked, "Do you think that this fact makes any difference to the investigation?"

"Well, I don't think we should trust him. If he's lied to us about his gender, how can we rely on him to be truthful otherwise?" Aizawa said, his brow furrowed in anger.

Light nodded, inwardly exulting at the possibility of eliminating Near so soon in the game. If the task force didn't trust Near, then he could easily reject Near's interference without anyone suspecting him of an ulterior motive.

But…why did Mello tell them about Near? If he knew that Kira/L wanted Near out of the way, why did he give the opportunity to dispose of Near so easily? It was a trap…unless Mello had anticipated his suspicions and expected him to not avoid Near, in which case it was…a double trap?

"Light-kun, are you alright? You look kind of like your head's going to explode."

On the other side of the world, Mello smirked and slammed down the phone. "We win, Matt. I could hear them arguing…Near is out of the picture!"

"Hurrah," Matt said glumly, thumbs twitching as he ruthlessly eliminated yet another overweight boss on his PSP. "We win."

"We do. God, I'm a genius. You're amazed by me, right?"

"Yes, Mello. I'm amazed by you."

"Damn straight!"