"Mello…?" Near looked up from the large pile of dice that had once been a grand castle. His small plastic knight had rolled under one of the playroom's chairs that was shaped like a large red crayon; the small plastic princess was still clutched tightly in his hand. The knight had about to burn the woman at the stake for claiming that she had seen the holy Virgin; 'Joan of Arc' was one of his most favorite games.

Looking up, the small white haired boy's ice-blue eyes met the ocean blue of his rival's. Mello's feet crunched over the small white dice, and his face remained impassive. A small flick of confusion flashed at the corner of his ocean blue eyes. "Near…"

A small ghost of a scowl passed over the albino boy's rose-petal shaped mouth, and his eyes flicked towards the plastic knight. He really wanted to finish his game. "Did you just come here to be a nuisance?" The boy could feel the small contours of the tiny princess under his skinny fingers. Mello's lip twitched slightly, and Near thought that he was going to snap.

Surprisingly though, he didn't.

"I…didn't." A small blush broke out over Mello's slightly tanned face. "Er…I…um, actually came here to…ask you something, Near."

Near daintily rose a white eyebrow, intrigued by Mello's stuttering. The blonde boy seemed to see this action, and sat roughly beside the albino boy. He looked straight into the ice-blue eyes of the albino, took a deep breath and…asked him out on a date.

Near blinked once…then twice. "…what?" Mello scowled.

"I asked that since well, you know…there's going to be a trip to London next week for Valentine's day…I was wondering if you wanted to go…with…me."

Unsure as to what to say, Near blushed gracefully, and pointed toward the plastic knight. "Will you hand me that?"

--

"I can't believe that you did it." Matt snickered into his mittened hand, and looked up at the blonde who chewed rather harshly on a chunk of chocolate. He glared at his red-headed friend.

"Shut up." Couples (that ranged from the ages of eleven to seventeen) babbled around the two boys. Matt shrugged and took out a cigarette. Mello sneered. "If Roger catches you smoking, you'll get your ass kicked." Again, the apathetic red-head shrugged.

"Do you even think that Near'll come? I mean…this really isn't his kind of…thing." Matt asked, puffing on the white stick. Mello gave the chocolate a bitter look (one he really whished to direct at Matt) and sniffed arrogantly.

"He said he would come; you're just jealous because I wouldn't go with you." Matt grinned roguishly, and wrapped an arm around the blonde in fake-flirting.

"Oh you know me so well, don't you Mells?" The red head sighed, "I guess I'll just have to patch up my bleeding heart and move on with my life because I'll never be able to date you. Oh my world is crumbling!" They both snickered.

"I never knew that you and Mello were that close," a soft monotone voice said from behind them. Mello felt his entire face bloom into a brilliant red. Matt turned, and grinned.

Giving the blushing blonde a wayward glance, Matt flicked the butt of his cigarette to the side. "I guess I'll be leaving. I don't wanna intrude on the love-fest." Mello seriously felt like hitting the red-head's attractive face.

Mello finally turned as the red-head skipped off to harass a group of 13 year olds. He sighed, a puff of grey coming out of his mouth in the process. "I thought you weren't coming." He was very appreciative of whatever god made Near have something of a sense of fashion that day.

The boy was in his customary white pajamas, but over the pajama shirt, an off-white coat rested. A cute pale pink hat rested on the unruly white curls, and the white haired boy tugged nervously at a curl that had escaped. "I said I would come…" There was a powdery pink blush covering his pale face, and as he looked up at Mello's approving gaze, the blush darkened.

"Alright everyone," Numerous heads turned as the head-master, Roger, began to direct them towards the large buses. Fat snowflakes were beginning to fall from the grey sky as the teenagers climbed aboard the buses.

Mello chose to sit at the back of the bus where prying eyes wouldn't reach them. Near sat down on the blue and red patterned seat; his pale hands rested almost rigidly on his lap. Mello sat beside the albino, and sighed. He stretched languidly, and looked over at the small boy. "Well..."

Near glanced over at the blonde, "Well…?" Mello puffed a strand of blonde hair out of his blue eyes.

"You're quite the unresponsive date, aren't you?" There was an unpleasant pause afterwards. Near pulled off his pink hat, and gave it a dirty look.

"I'm sorry that Mello finds me that way. If he knew I would be unresponsive and boring, he shouldn't have invited me." Mello mentally flinched; whenever Near used a person's name rather than 'you', he was pissed.

Mello sighed, and looked out the window. The scenery passed by in a blur of white and grey. "…Is inviting me on a 'date' a way for Mello to humiliate me?" The blonde jumped at the soft monotone voice. Instantly, he felt as if someone punched him in the stomach.

"What!? No, why would you think that?" Near turned and looked right into his eyes. The ice-blue depths were cold and unreadable.

"I wouldn't put it past Mello." Came the cold and clipped answer.

His mouth literally dropped, and the blood rushed to his ears. How could that…that TWIT say something like that!? Here Mello was giving all his attention to someone who obviously didn't need it! The arrogant little bastard!

Whydid Mello ever think that this would have worked? All he wanted was to get to know the albino more, and maybe slip in some snogging sessions in the process. He irritably puffed a strand of blonde away from his face.

"This is making me regret ever inviting you. All you want to do it play with your fucking dolls and not socialize with anyone." Mello turned and glared hotly at the albino. "Well news flash Near, that's not healthy. No wonder everyone thinks that you feel as if you're so much better than they are." He gave a small sniff of indifference at the end of his small rant. The bus ride to London was a cold and tension filled trip.

--

Mello's words had cut; maybe not so deep as they would have been if Near hadn't been ready for the verbal attack, but still…they hurt. What the blonde had said did strike a cord of truthfulness; he knew everyone thought that he thought that way about them. Perhaps he did in a way, but he envied their companionship with those around them; it was something that he would feel too awkward in attempting.

Here was his first (and possibly only chance, seeing as Mello was highly pissed off with him now) to be apart of a group, and feel like he wasn't the socially retarded person that he actually was. Maybe…he should have just apologized to Mello, but stubborn pride got in the way of things at times.

The bus stopped, and with a sigh, the albino boy pulled the pale pink hat over his curls. He honestly despised the thing, but Mrs. Parker had made him wear it saying that he would look absolutely ADORABLE in it, and that it was going to snow soon. Sometimes, he loathed the heavy-set Scottish woman.

Mello barely gave him a second glance, and stood from his red and blue speckled seat. "You coming or not?" The blonde said in an irritated, clipped fashion. Near mutely nodded, and also stood from his seat. Perhaps, today he would come out with none of his eyes blackened. I doubt that.

People pushed and shoved their way out of the compact bus; a small shoving fight broke out between two older boys behind Near, and their immature horse-play resulted in pushing the boy into Mello. Near closed his ice-blue eyes and wrapped his skinny arms around the chocolate lover's waist so as not to fall. He instantly felt Mello tense, and he felt the blonde turn to gaze at him.

"What the hell are you doing Near?" Near opened his owlish eyes and spared a glance at the domineering blonde.

"Nothing." He replied icily, and glanced away from the irked blonde. The shoving crowd finally stepped off the bus, and into the frigid February London air.

The couples instantly left after Roger explained where to meet up in five hours; they left in pairs of twos, and sometimes they would be in a group. Mello sighed and ran a hand through his chin-length blonde hair. "Alright, where do you wanna go first?"

Near shrugged one shoulder, looked down at his hands, and blushed a fiery red when he realized that he was still clenching tightly to Mello's arm. He instantly let go of the soft leather coat, and looked away quickly, quietly murmuring, "I don't know. I've never been to London before." Mello barely noticed the boy's obvious discomfort, and snorted slightly.

"Oh yeah…that shouldn't surprise me. Hmm…well I could take you to a toy store…" He trailed off cruelly, and smirked at Near's red face.

"Now Mello is just making fun of me." Near mumbled, and rubbed the end of his cold nose with the sleeve of his white coat. Mello shrugged, and grabbed a hold of the other too-big coat sleeve.

"Yeah, I am. C'mon."

--

The two teenagers walked quickly around the passing tourists; they gave each other small fleeting glances, and Mello felt that Near's anger at him was slowly ebbing away.

They got strange looks from tourists and locals alike, both parties obviously not used to seeing a small albino boy ("Boy? Is that a boy? He looks too cute to be a boy!") being led around the city by a larger boy in a leather coat. Once did they get a kind smile from an old lady with curlers in her bluish hair.

Mello bristled under the weight of eyes. "Can't they keep their noses out of other people's own damn business?" They were sitting in a small café that was packed full of couples out on dates. Near looked up from the small mug of warm Earl Grey.

"What do you mean?" He asked in soft monotone. Mello rested his head on his hand and glared over the albino boy's shoulder where a girl pointedly stared back.

"Just because we're two boys, I guess that means we have to be on display for everyone!" He savagely answered back. The girl blushed, and looked back at her boyfriend. Near's eyes locked with Mello's.

"Really?"

Mello rolled his eyes and took a long swig of the steaming mug of warm coco. The albino took this as a sign to 'shut up', and let his blue eyes rove around the faces of others in the tiny café. The couples that filled the small café were mostly teenagers (like them) that ranged from the ages of thirteen to eighteen. Some of the older girls glanced over to their small table and gave Mello something that Near heard girls at Wammy's call 'the eye'. The small white haired boy felt a small pang of…something twist in his gut, and for some unknown reason, he honestly hoped Mello didn't give those girls the time of day.

"Umm…Mello?" He felt his ears heat up as the blonde lifted his ocean blue eyes; His rival chewed noisily on a chocolate muffin.

"Yeah?" He asked, swallowing the gooey chunk of pastry.

Near looked quickly at the bitter-sweet chocolate that was smeared slightly over the blonde's red lips, and back at the other boy's eyes. "I want to leave." The blonde nodded once, and stood from the wiry chairs. Near let a breath he was unconsciously holding leave his mouth when he realized that Mello was his for today. Maybe not tomorrow, the albino thought sadly as they shoved through the cluster of people and stepped out into the frigid air, but…I'm content with this right now.

Snow was beginning to fall harder over-head, and as they walked farther away from the café, Mello noticed something. "Did you forget your hat?" Near wanted to sigh irritably, but kept his face expressionless. He wanted to leave that hat there, dammit!

"Indeed I have." The boy remarked, reaching up to twist a curl of white hair. He saw the corners of Mello's lips twirl upward, and soon the blonde was laughing.

"You left it there on purpose, didn't you?" They began walking once more; Mello continued his laughter. "God, I love you Near." His laugher instantly died, and both the boys looked quickly at the other, eyes wide.

Return the awkward silence.

--

He hadn't meant to say that; HE REALLY DIDN'T!

Why, why did everything he say come out completely the opposite of what he actually wanted to say?! Mello mentally screamed and berated himself as they walked through the babbling mass of people shopping with their sweet hearts.

People who bumped up against them sometimes shoved the two boys together with always resulted in eyes averting and blushing cheeks. Mello sighed as this happened a third time. "Alright, this is getting irritating." He looked down at Near, and swallowed silently. "I didn't mean what I said. I know it's awkward between us, but…can we just forget about that already?"

Near nodded mutely, a small smile of relief cutely lifted the corners of his rose-petal shaped mouth. "Affirmative." They began walking toward a store that promised books; Mello growled lowly in his throat. How can I mean that when you act so damn cute!?

Mello watched as Near turned to stalk in between high shelves packed tightly with books; the blonde read the sign and scoffed lightly to himself while fighting back a small grin of affection. 'Law' the small white sign read, and Mello found that the small boy couldn't get enough of the things they learned in school. Egghead. Mello thought while turning to his preferred section of every book store: famous mafia murder cases.

An hour later, the two boys found that they were reaching for the same book. Mello scowled slightly at the expressionless albino, and tugged lightly on the hard-back book. "I saw it first, Near." He said lowly. The boy tugged back, his eyebrows daintily rose to his hair line.

"I doesn't really matter who saw it first, though I have been wanting to read this book for a while now…" They stared at each other, both trying to mentally will the other to let go first.

"Give it!" Mello said, and gave a forceful tug of the book. The albino boy was pulled close to the other boy, and they both fell to the ground with a loud thud. Mello winced at the harsh impact the floor had with his bum (Floor, meet ass. Ass, floor), and then he winced at the heavy weight that landed square on his hips.

Mello blinked open his eyes, and startled lightly as he stared straight back into ice-blue. Their faces were centimeters apart; both boys felt their faces heat up to unimaginable degrees, and both could have sworn that the other could hear the quickened heart beats. This book store is relatively large. The more perverted side of Mello's mind deviously whispered. No one would know if you two stared to snog…

"I-it seems that we have been put into a very…er…compromising position." Near almost whispered, and flicked his eyes down to Mello's lips which hovered centimeters away from his own.

Mello unconsciously wet his lips. "Yeah…" They inched closer together, and Near felt his eyelids slide close.

"Perhaps we should take advantage of it?" Mello's lips pressed softly against the albino boy's. He scowled lightly into the kiss.

"Shut up Near."

--

Three hours later

--

Matt began to worry. He chewed ruthlessly on the end of a pen-cap (since he couldn't smoke, damn Roger for taking his cigarettes away…) and glanced up and down the street. They were supposed to be back by now! He thought, and felt the pen-cap squish under his teeth. You don't think that they could have…killed each other? …Oh no Mello, you PROMISED you wouldn't throw Near in front of a bus!

That was part of the deal they had made a week ago…

"I bet you won't ask Near out on that trip." Matt said smugly, puffing arrogantly on his cigarette. Mello chomped down on the melting chocolate bar and huffed. The red-head loved to see his blonde friend flustered.

"I'll do it. It can't be that hard can it?"

"You can't kill him." Mello rolled his blue eyes, and threw the wrapper in the rubbish basket that sat beside the door to their room.

"I know." Matt gave him a look that said 'I don't believe you'. Mello scowled and threw a fluffy pillow at his friend's face. "Oh come on! I won't throw the kid in front of a fucking bus!"

Matt snickered and resumed playing his game. "Right…"

"So what do I get if I win?" Matt looked out of the corner of his goggled eye.

"The sweet taste of success?" Mello gave a mock laugh.

"No really."

"…I'll buy you all the chocolate you can consume then." Mello grinned wickedly and skipped off to the playroom.

Matt sighed, and ran a hand through his red hair. Roger turned to him, a worried expression played at the corners of his old lips. "You don't know where Mello and Near are, do you Matt?" The old head-master asked apprehensively. Matt shrugged and glanced once more down the street. His eyes widened and a grin split his lips.

"There they are Roger!" The old man sighed with relief and began the head-count all over again. The two whose whereabouts were previously unknown soon walked up to the large crowd of teenagers. Matt's eyes widened behind the orange colored goggles at the two boys' appearances.

Mello's hair was messed and looked as if someone had previously been clutching for dear life to the strands; a self-satisfied smirk was half-way plastered on his red-lips. Near's pale face was extremely flushed, and his normally unruly curly hair was in an even worse disarray than normal. His lips were slightly swollen, and Matt could see a dark purplish love bite that was forming on the side of his pale neck.

Mello's ocean blue eyes flicked up to meet Matt's, and the red head knew he was going to be out of money for a while.

--

-- Finis

Well…hmmm…I know it's too early for a Valentine's day fic, but…I really couldn't help myself! :D Mello and Near are such a cute couple to write and I feel that I don't even do them justice. –shrugs—Oh well.

I know that the characters are a bit OOC, so please don't yell at me for that! By the way, Matt is such a fun character to write! Oh I love that apathetic red-head. –squee—

Please Review!