Hey, mates! So, I'm an unapologetic fangirl of the Mello/Near pairing, and I thought I'd try my hand at writing a somewhat-romantic scene between the two. I think I did a better job than I expected, and I had a lot of fun describing Near's rather disturbing thought processes. This fic also let me elaborate on the delighful horrors of a first kiss, which was brilliant because kissing is always described a bit too prettily for my tastes. This is also a Merry Christmas in boy-love form, so enjoy your holidays! Personally, I think Hannukah sounds more interesting that good old Jesus-mas, but we take what we've been given and I've been given an extensive Irish-Catholic family, so there you go. Heh.

VARNING: ze following fic contains ze boy love, ze kissing, ze swearing, and ze boners. Hem hem. Also, I do not own Death Note, some Japanese bloke does and he's done a smashing good job of it too. M'kay?

Christmas Eve had fallen over the English countryside with all the flair of a dropped slushball. The white Christmas the residents of Winchester had hoped for seemed to be highly unlikely; as of seven in the evening on December 24, the streets were mostly bare and the sky clear. Instead of great snowbanks blocking driveways and grates, the gutters contained only dissolving salt and the occasional schizophrenic hobo.

This letdown in terms of holiday cheer was especially disappointing to those that lived at Wammy's, the orphanage at the very edge of Winchester that was widely regarded to be full of either perverts, evil spirits, or some disturbing combination of the two.

In reality, it was simply inhabited by ingenious children, old men, and unapologetically alcoholic teachers, all of whom were gathered in the warm and toasty main room of the orphanage. Most of them were staring sadly out of the fogged windows, still holding on to a bit of hope that it would snow before Christmas morning reared its festive head.

It was rare for all the inhabitants of Wammy's to be seen together at any given time, and indeed this was an occurrence that could only be brought about by the holidays and Roger's iron, arthritic fist.

As was customary at Wammy's, the children and teachers had gathered to eat cookies and exchange small gifts in eager anticipation of the next morning. The children were mostly sprawled out on the floor or lurking within piles of cushions, chatting with their friends and casting shy glances at whomever they happened to admire on that particular day. The adults had pulled rank and secured the couches and chairs, and were clustered in similar but slightly more unsteady groups. Most of them were nursing mugs of heavily spiked eggnog and complaining of Christmases past to their uncaring and inebriated coworkers, occasionally glancing at the kids to make sure that their constant references to sex weren't being understood by young ears.

All in all, it was a touching picture. The fireplace in the far wall burned merrily, occasionally gaining a brighter flame when various objects were "accidentally" thrown into it. The younger occupants of the room had secured eggnog of their own, which was nearly guaranteed to be nonalcoholic. Some of them were admiring the towering Christmas tree that stood in the corner of the room, covered in decorations slightly less subtle than a hooker's underpants. These decorations included enormous multicolored baubles and tinsel, and the lights strung between the branches blinked on and off in red and green flashes sure to cause an epileptic seizure if stared at for too long.

The baubles in particular had prompted every "enormous balls" joke known to mankind, and there had been a near-emergency the other day when one of the younger children had attempted to eat tinsel in a move certain to destroy any chance of ever becoming the next L.

The presents were the best part, of course. Thanks to the heavy population of children in the building, there were far more presents than could be found under the average tree. Every so often, a child would shoot an excited glance towards the massive gift-pile, wondering desperately which ones would be worth the bother of unwrapping and which would be utter crap.

The least excited person in the room was currently situated near the selfsame pile of gifts, and might have been mistaken for a particularly lifeless Real Doll if not for his thin, pale hands, which occasionally darted out from the protection of his white sleeves to stack another playing card on top of the already large tower growing in front of him.

This boy, far from being filled with holiday cheer and nervous anticipation, looked as though given a choice, he would rather be sequestered in his room, permitted to ignore his peers as per usual. None of the children were sitting near him, both due to his reputation as a reticent bastard and also because, hidden behind the presents as he was, very few of them actually noticed his existence.

Near may have been the first choice for successor to one of the world's most brilliant people, but it was entirely possible that interpersonal relationships would continue to elude his understanding forever.

From his hidden position, he was currently observing what he regarded as the idiotic behavior of the masses. As his peers drank their not-spiked-at-all eggnog (and occasionally keeled over with no warning) and dangled mistletoe above each others' heads, he stared disapprovingly at them and wondered what amusement could ever be found in acting so ridiculously. Happily, the wide berth given to him by his fellow orphans meant that he was exempt from their stupid attentions.

"Hey, Near!"

Well, maybe not entirely.

The call had come from the other corner of the room, where a blond boy was nudging his ginger companion in the ribs and winking blatantly at the other boy, who was so engrossed by the DS in his hands that he allowed himself to be elbowed right onto the floor without breaking concentration.

"Sorry, mate," the blond said, immediately losing interest in his friend's plight. He looked over to Near again, a smirk of the finest, most delicious evil curling his features (which were NOT girlish, as he would insist to anyone who hinted as much).

Near looked over at the boy, repressing the weary sigh that so desperately wanted to escape his lips. "Mello?"

Mello's smirk widened, and he curled his fingers against the floor eagerly and leaned forward, making sure that his white-haired target would hear his every word.

"Do you want it to snow, Near?"

Near stared at him, trying to judge what sort of insult would inevitably follow his response. He drew a blank, and thus decided to simply proceed with caution.

"Not particularly, Mello. I'm not fond of the snow."

Mello's face practically split in half as he leaned even further over, causing the unfortunate Matt to grimace as the blond's arse was shoved into his face. "I can imagine why, Near. After all…"

Near internally winced. Nothing good was ever proceeded by an "after all…"

"…I expect no one would ever find you again if you went outside, Sheep Boy!"

Well, as far as Mello's insults went, that one had been fairly inoffensive. In fact, it hadn't even included one lewd hand gesture, which Near regarded as something of a Christmas miracle.

But, "Sheep Boy?" He didn't appreciate that name at all. Sheep were stupid creatures, of an intellect far less than his. And if one wanted to be exact, sheep's wool was actually slightly more yellow in color than his hair or clothing.

Stupid, colorblind Mello. He obviously couldn't deal with his own feelings of inferiority.

However, Near's cutting observation to himself lost some of its impact as Mello, sitting back, allowed his black shirt to slide over his stomach, revealing tanned hips and a swift glimpse of chocolate-patterned boxer shorts. Near blushed, wishing for the four hundredth and eighty-third time that

A: puberty had never forced its way into his previously-innocent soul and

B: that Mello wouldn't be so damn attractive. Even his navel was alluring. How was that even possible, he would like to know?

He then frowned at himself, realizing that his resolution to force asexuality on his hormone-riddled body was rapidly crumbling. Even three days of refusing to glance at any part of Mello besides his relatively average-looking feet hadn't helped.

Near, the ever-enigmatic boy genius, had a crush. It was shameful. And of course, it was on someone who hated his guts.

Near didn't hate Mello's guts. Well actually, he didn't know much about his actual internal organs, but the stomach that hid them from view was slender and muscular and he really wanted to ju—

Near brought the card in his hand, the Queen of clubs, down on the top of the castle so hard that the entire structure toppled into his lap. From across the room, Mello laughed the loud and derisive (yet somehow seductive) laugh that he had developed just for occasions such as these. If Near had been a weaker man, he would have blushed. Instead, he gathered the cards up carefully, placed them to the side, and started to twiddle his white hair like mad.

He really couldn't deal with this anymore. Mello would just have to be removed from his brain until puberty decided to stop ravaging his mind in such embarrassing ways.

He had even had a dream. About Mello. They had been wandering around a castle made of dice and drinking pink lemonade, and for some reason Mello was completely naked in this dream and Near had woken up to sticky sheets and a burgeoning sense of self-hatred.

Near was once more distracted from his miserable reverie by the sound of Mello's voice, which he would have compared to a choir of angels had he any basis on which to judge these things by.

It took Near a moment to stop focusing on the golden tones passing the other boy's lips and to actually hear what he was saying.

What he was saying was…pretty alarming.

"Alright, who wants to get under the mistletoe? Single file please, ladies and gentlemen…"

From his seat next to the blond, Matt uttered a spontaneous "ta-dah" and went back to his game.

There was now a small gathering around the black-clad boy, comprised of loud, excitable girls and a few meek boys with looks of delight plastered onto their faces. Mello produced a small branch of mistletoe from his jean pocket, straightened the battered leaves, and held it into the air. "Well, who's first?"

The lucky first was a curly-haired girl who pressed her lips to Mello's with a giggle, not realizing that Near, in his corner, was glaring at her with a gaze that could melt bedrock.

How dare she? Her hair was ugly, her face was unappealing, she probably had peculiar tasting lips, and she was kissing Mello. It was entirely unfair. Near, while not very attractive, would be much better at it.

Despite the fact that he had never, you know, kissed anyone. Ever.

Well, it was hardly due to lack of interest. He had people desperate to kiss him, a ton of them. If, of course, by a ton you meant the clueless but well-meaning Linda, who had not yet realized that her lack of male genitalia rendered her completely unappealing to the young albino genius.

Mello continued to receive admirers, gifting each with a delicate kiss that looked, from Near's viewpoint, exceedingly enjoyable and maybe even capable of causing spontaneous orgasm.

Of course, there was no way he could go over there and join the line of Mello-enthusiasts; Mello would either regard it as a deliberate insult or a fit of insanity on Near's part. He was more likely to punch him in the face instead of giving him the kiss he so richly deserved for putting up with these cursed hormones for so long…

But he wanted a kiss. As he watched the next blushing supplicant approach his crush (this time it was a dark-haired boy with an upturned nose, a blush overwhelming his features as Mello's lips drew nearer) he felt his toes curl up within his socks and nearly let a scowl mar his permanent poker face.

Then, as the two boys' lips met on the other side of the room, he really did scowl.

Suddenly, one of the girls who had already been kissed shook Mello's shoulder, saying, "Alright, now you have to kiss whoever we dare you to!"

Mello shrugged and winked cheekily at her, dropping his mistletoe for a moment. "Go ahead. Name your pick."

"Well…" the girl (her name was Anita, and Near mentally formed a TO DIE list with her name right at the top of it) said, pretending to think deeply on the matter, "you should kiss, uh…me!" She giggled, and received a prompt smack on the lips.

"My turn," Matt said suddenly from his seat next to the blond. He had gained his own small circle of admirers, but had cheerfully ignored them all in favor of his true love, Mario.

Now, Mello turned to look at him dubiously. "Since when do you care who I kiss, Matt?"

"I don't," the ginger replied, wrinkling his nose in anger as Bowser comprehensively kicked Mario's freaking ass for the fourth time that day. "But you shoved your arse in my face a while ago. I'm getting my revenge."

"Great," Mello sighed, scowling. "It just better not be Roger…"

Even Matt looked horrified by this one. "Nah," he said quickly, then pointed. "Just Near."

Near and Mello both nearly choked to death simultaneously, Near with delight and Mello with something that was almost certainly horror. "WHAT?! Matt, you bastard!"

Matt grinned to himself, having finally managed to pummel the ever-loving shit out of Bowser and horrify his friend in the bargain. "Come on, Mello. It's a dare. You'll let him do it, right Near?"

Near looked up, using every ounce of effort he possessed to keep that poker face strictly glued to his features. "If Mello wishes to kiss me, that is entirely his prerogative."

"Oh-ho!" Matt said laconically. "See Mello, he doesn't give a crap. Just do it."

"Yeah Mello, you can do it," said Anita the Bitch of Death, casting an adoring glance at the effeminate heartbreaker.

"Whatever," Mello muttered, looking as though someone had just taken it upon themselves to give him a peppermint enema in the spirit of the holidays.

Near watched Mello walk over to his hiding place, seeing the girlish hips sway in a manner that made him nearly rip out the curl of hair clutched in his right hand. He repressed the burning desire to lick his lips.

Mello sat down in front of him, crossing his legs in a casual manner that caused Near to swallow deeply and feel an aggravating tingle in the pit of his stomach.

"Okay, Sheep Boy," Mello said harshly, leaning down to stare into Near's slightly glazed eyes. "Tongue to yourself, understand?"

"Mello flatters himself," Near said with customary dryness, although to be quite honest he could have vomited with excitement right about then.

"I—shut up, Near!" Mello's eyes flashed, causing the tingle in Near's stomach to engulf rather a larger area altogether.

Then, those soft pale lips were parting slightly and heading towards his face and he was going to blush and he really hoped he didn't because that would just ru—

Oh, wait. He had no idea what to do. Purse his lips? Open his mouth? Close his eyes and hope for the best? He would be ashamed if Mello thought he was a poor kisser. Near was number one, after all. He had a reputation to keep up…

But all of sudden he didn't care because Mello's lips had met his and both his breathing and thoughts suddenly ceased.

It wasn't like he had imagined. Mello's lips were chapped and prickly but somehow soft, and his mouth felt wet and strange against Near's. Mello tilted his head fractionally, and his lips parted ever so slightly and Near could suddenly taste his spit, which was somehow both repulsive and hugely pleasurable. The vague hardness of Mello's teeth pressed against his own delicate lips for a moment as Mello's mouth sucked ever-so-gently at his, and then their mouths were pulling apart slowly and Mello's lips were shiny with saliva, Near's saliva, and he suddenly felt really strange and just wanted those lips to cover his again.

"Look, he's blushing!"

"That was really hot."

"Does he have a boner? I can't see."

Near realized that he was blushing, really blushing, and Mello was staring at him with the most unreadable look on his face. As he watched, the older boy raised the back of his hand to his lips and slowly wiped off the excess moisture of Near's kiss. The white-haired boy felt faintly offended, but as he was not really thinking clearly and did in fact have a raging boner (thank you, casual observer) he was far beyond caring about that sort of thing.

Mello remembered himself and glared once more at his rival, walking back to his group of friends and admirers as Near sat in a daze.

He had really kissed Mello. Mello had kissed him. Grudgingly, sure, but it had happened. And it hadn't just been a tiny peck on the lips; they had kissed. With, you know, their lips.

God, he really needed to just be alone with his thoughts right now. People were staring. So rude of them, couldn't they just go back to looking at Mello?


Mello had kissed him and it had been strange and incredible and made his stomach feel fiery and uncomfortable.

Near watched Mello sit down next to Matt and whisper angrily to the redhead, probably about what had just happened, but Near couldn't care less because he had never felt so disconnected in his life.

Forget snow.

This was a genuine Christmas miracle.