Author's Note: Um. I wrote this the other day for the utterly wonderful and super-fantastic Chamyl, as an expression of my love. Because gestures of love are best when they're incredibly hentai, with moments of strange levity...?

Enjoy, or something... :P


If this rat wasn't broken by the morning, there'd be hell to pay.

He looked like a rat—or a mouse, at least; all frail bones and straggling hair and big, unblinking, inhuman eyes. All animal instinct, with nowhere left to run.

Pensively, Mello twirled the gun around his finger by its trigger guard, letting the dim light gleam on its unsympathetic angles. He didn't really want to shoot the bastard in the kneecaps—or not yet—but he was scraping the bottom of the non-fatal tortures barrel by now.

Near—or so he called himself—was the most resilient stoolie Mello had encountered in all of his tenure in the Mafia. Admittedly, he had encountered a grand total of three in four years' time, and he hadn't been left to his own devices to deal with any of them.

To tell the truth, he hated this bullshit. He did it anyway, of course, because the alternatives were less palatable still, but he'd already exceeded his Mafia lifespan, and the looks he was getting were starting to make him nervous in a whole lot of ways. He couldn't fuck this up.

It was becoming evident, however, that Near was virtually unbreakable—he'd been hand-cuffed to a steel chair in a dark basement for three hours now, browbeaten, more literally assailed, and threatened until Mello's throat was raw, and he still hadn't said a word.

Maybe that was the kid's whole game—he made a concerted effort to look as harmless as possible, to seem so cute that faking it would be downright embarrassing, the better to hide the fact that he was actually made of steel.

White steel, clothed all in black, turtleneck creeping upwards towards his jaw. Eyes cold and distant, Near had withdrawn, removed himself, retreated to safety inside his head, hoping to escape the room, the situation, the physical pain. To transcend it.

But unless Mello was mistaken, the narrow knees were shaking.

He tucked the gun into the back of his waistband and swaggered forward, trying to meet Near's evasive eyes. He took the pointed chin in one hand, forcing its owner to look at him, recognizing as he did a resignation coupled with implacability—a wall of ice.

"Talk to me," Mello said.

Near blinked once, slowly, and said nothing.

Mello shook him, tangled white curls bouncing against the smooth forehead. "Doesn't have to be a full confession," he decided. "Just fucking say something."

Near's eyes slid rightward, away from him, and the shadow-made shoulders rose two inches and fell.

Smarmy little bitch.

Mello kind of liked this guy.

He drew the gun and slammed it against Near's jaw.

"Don't fuck with me," he suggested. "Nothing's more dangerous than somebody with something to prove."

Near spat blood on the floor to his right, probing delicately at his molars with his tongue.

"Compensating for something?" he asked softly, managing a quavering smirk.

Mello pressed the gun barrel to Near's chest, just over the heart, and put on his prettiest smile.

"That's an even better motivation," he pointed out.

"There isn't much to tell," Near informed him, meeting his eyes. "Double-crossers frequently find themselves double-crossed. Triple-crossed. Everyone's out for themselves. I knew that going in."

"You think you're some kind of hero, don't you?" Mello prompted. "Some kind of martyr for justice?"

Placidly, Near smiled, probably knowing very well how the anger would flare in Mello's chest at his indifference. "I shouldn't presume to elevate myself to that kind of status," he replied. "Perhaps that's how I got caught: I'm not nearly egotistical enough to fit in properly here."

It wasn't even much of an insult, as insults went, but Mello had had the thought that Near might be more forthcoming half-dazed, so he clubbed him with the gun.

Mello supposed that he shouldn't have been worrying that Near's neck might snap at any second, the way his head bobbed, the way he swayed in the chair, cuff links jingling as the chain went taut, the chair rocking on two legs before it clomped back into place.

Near didn't raise his head, and there was a soft, slightly wet choking sound that Mello realized momentarily was a sigh.

Bored, was he?

Mello had to face the fact that his current strategy hadn't yet proved effective. Maybe he should try a different tack.

He didn't know if he would ever get what the higher-ups wanted—which was a detailed admission or something equally implausible, in order to have a clean excuse for an execution—but that wasn't even Mello's first concern anymore. He wanted Near to move—to cave. To crack. To shatter. Now it was a challenge.

Accordingly, he put the gun away and took Near's face in both hands this time, fingering the new bruises that stood out blue-purple, like sloppy watercolor on the sunless white of the skin beneath. Still Near persisted in looking bored.

So Mello kissed him harshly, sucking hard on his split bottom lip, and the everything tasted like blood and brown sugar.

Near bit him.

The little bastard.

Mello loved it.

He dragged his fingernails down Near's neck, pushing the cotton until it crumpled, and if black varnish chipped off and caught in the rising pink scrapes he left, he wasn't too concerned. He was, rather, preoccupied with the task of sliding his hands under the bottom hem of Near's shirt, following sharp ribs like ladder rungs to collarbones that sought his thumbs' approval. Near murmured, pushing into the pressure of his touch, face flushing hot, and Mello planted his right knee between Near's two, kneading pliant skin with both hands, and dared to pull away long enough to look for a reaction.

The reaction. Not even Near could ignore this.

Kid didn't disappoint—he was panting, eyes eerily bright, lit starlike and shining, and a smirk twisted his lips, the lower oozing a fat bead of red.

Mello leaned forward, peremptorily, to lick it off.

"It is the least surprising thing in the world," Near told him, "that you are a fetishist."

Mello clenched five fingers in the white curls and tilted Near's head back until he could see the pulse beating in a vein at the boy's throat.

"You want more?" he asked.

Near gave a short laugh that surrendered to a cough. "I'm going to die tomorrow," he noted. "What do you think?"

It was really quite bizarre how arousing Mello was finding all of this unrepentant snark.

He should have been shooting the bastard, not straddling his hips and bringing their chests together as he fumbled blindly with the handcuffs threaded through the back of the chair, the key slotting into place just before he lost his temper and pitched it across the room.

Near rubbed his wrists, eyes lowered, muttering something about numbness and circulation. Mello grabbed his hands, blood crusted like bangles where the cuffs had been, and pushed him to the floor, pretending that he didn't know how filthy it was; he shoved black fabric heedlessly aside, fighting the zipper on Near's jeans, cursing the denim when it stuck. There was just enough light—an uncovered bulb hung somewhere above them, suspended from a cord that disappeared into the dark—for Mello to admire the stark red marks his teeth left up and down Near's abdomen, and he gripped the boy's hips for leverage, pressing him into the cement. Kneeling over him, settling one palm tauntingly at the juncture of a downy-haired white thigh, Mello bit his way back up to Near's mouth, catching it with his own as his victim writhed beneath him.

It was flattering, really. He liked having such an overwhelming effect on the small, wiry body arching against him, begging for release, its kiss demanding, its little hands digging their fingers into his sides, clawing desperately at his spine—

—snatching the gun and jamming it under Mello's chin without giving him time to blink.

The fucking bitch.

"You're getting me out of here," Near announced. "Starting now."

Mello seethed, trying not to notice the chill of the steel against his skin.

"You're just full of surprises, aren't you?" he hissed, searching the cold gray eyes for a sign. "You've got quite a talent for—" Deliberately too tightly, he closed his grip around the needy erection probing at his stomach, tip swollen, smeared, and weeping. "—faking."

Near gritted his teeth but didn't budge. "Ten seconds, Mello, before I blow your head off and try my luck alone."

"You wouldn't," Mello snarled, feeling hot blood prickle under the fingernails of his other hand where it scoured at the bastard's ribs.

Without so much as looking away, Near turned the gun aside and fired a single shot, his aim inimitable—the lightbulb shattered in a shower of orange sparks and shards of glass.

The dark was almost complete now, broken only by a few anemic rays of sun that bested the squat, grimy window set high on the wall.

They were enough, however, to let Mello watch Near raise one sardonic eyebrow as he settled the gun under Mello's chin again.

"Don't fuck with me," he warned.

Mello gave it a long moment of manic, hasty thought, narrowly keeping the rage at bay, shoving his priorities into order all at once.

"All right," he said slowly. "All right. I can do that. Just chill the fuck out, will you? Keep your fucking pants on."

Near smirked, keeping the semiautomatic trained on Mello's pounding heart as his erstwhile tormentor gathered himself unsteadily to his feet. "Well-put."

"I try," Mello muttered as Near stood, half-turned, and shimmied back into his clothes, somehow without letting go of the damn gun.

Mello's damn gun.

This gave a whole new meaning to the word "unfair."

Near gestured to the door with the gun—Mello's fucking gun, God damn it—and shifted his weight, looking hazy, almost incorporeal, white face and hands stranded in the blended black of his clothing and the room, a nightmare vision brought to life.

"Well?" he prompted.

Blood boiling, stomach churning, head spinning like a carnival ride, Mello led the way, three eyes burning into his back—Near's two, and the solitary sightlessness of his appropriated firearm.

Up the stairs, sharp corner, more stairs, down the hall—why the fuck wasn't there anyone around?—past three open doorways that yielded no saviors—but, then, did he want a witness to his defeat?—and, at last, the half-subterranean parking garage.

Near's pink tongue darted out to swipe new blood from the gash that divided his bottom lip, and his face was mottled with bruises. In the fluorescent clarity of the garage, however, he mostly looked… curious.

"I wasn't faking," he announced.

Mello offered nothing more or less than a scowl.

"I can get you out of here," Near said. "And I can get you amnesty."

Flash decisions had always served Mello best.

Though this one began to look dubious the second he slid into the backseat of Near's battered sedan.

"Lie down on the floor," Near ordered.

"Ex-fucking-cuse me?" Mello responded.

"I don't want anyone to see you," Near told him idly. "And I don't want you to be able to reach the gun."

"Probably worried it wouldn't be the gun I'd be touching," Mello muttered, hunkering down on the carpeting.

For half a second, he had a good angle in the rearview, and he caught Near grinning, the bruises on his cheeks underscored with pink.

Life was one weird fucking ride at the best of times.