Mello made a small noise in protest, surprise in his eyes. Near pulled away, both boys breathing heavily, until what he did set in. Eyes widening, Near dropped Mello. Mello landed on the floor, but he didn't say anything as he stared at Near.

"Near, don't---" Matt cut himself off as he noticed Mello on the floor, saw Near staring at the blue-eyed albino in a mixture of shock and horror. Beyond came in behind him.

"Mihael. Nate." He said coolly, casually. "What seems to be the problem?" Near finally tore his gaze from the surprise-filled blue eyes that were normally so blank, so emotion-less. He looked at Matt, at Beyond, back at Mello.

"Near!" Matt cried as Near turned on his heel and ran down the hall. They heard a door open and shut, and Matt shook his head. "Dammit!" He yelled again, throwing his fist into the wall. "Mello, what the hell happened?"

"I..." Mello panted, eyes staring after Near, the surprise disappearing. "He..." Mello shook his head and finally turned to face Matt. "Near kissed me." Matt blinked. "Near kissed me." Mello curled into a ball, wrapping his arms around his legs. "Near kissed me. Near kissed me." He repeated it like a mantra, as if he was trying to understand it.

Something hit Matt, and he knelt down beside him.

"Did..." Matt paused when Mello looked up at him.

"Does Near..." Mello tilted his head in the direction Near left. "Does Near regret doing it?" Matt blinked.

"Uh, what?" Mello placed his cheek on his legs.

"Does Near regret kissing me?" He repeated. "That's the normal response, correct? If one regrets something, they run away. So that they don't have to face the problem they created." Matt looked up at Beyond.

"Tell him, Matt." Beyond said. "I need to speak with Lawliet, and Mail knows Nate better than Beyond does anyway." With that, Beyond slunk towards the office that held L and his black sludge. Matt shook his head after Beyond and turned back to Mello.

"Look, Mels."

"Mello." Mello corrected. Matt rolled his eyes.

"Mello." He repeated forcefully. "Do you regret Near kissing you?" Mello turned to him before glancing at the floor.

"A few months ago..." Mello muttered slowly. "A few months ago, I would have said yes. I would not have wanted Near kissing me." Matt looked at him. "Near would not want to be kissing me anyway."

"How about now?" Matt asked, ignoring the fact that the blue-eyed albino had been completely ignorant of his best friend's crush. "When he kissed you now---"

"I was caught off-guard." Mello stated blankly. Matt blinked at him. "I was caught off-guard and it was an unfair advantage towards Near." Matt shook his head.

"Let's go find this idiot." Matt said, standing up and holding a hand to help Mello up.

A few months ago, Mello would have given Matt a blank look. Mello would've ignored Matt's outstretched hand and slowly pulled himself up. Matt wouldn't have offered to help Mello up to begin with, and would've just yelled at the albino to hurry up and get his lazy ass off the floor.

All that had changed over the past few months, and Mello took Matt's hand, allowing himself to be pulled up.

Near sat by himself under a tree, staring over at the orphanage that was Wammy's. A petite girl sat herself beside him.

"Mello and Matt are looking for you, Near." She said.

"I know."

"Mello wants to talk to you, badly." Near buried his head in his knees.

"I know."

"Then don't just sit there!" She snapped, standing up. "Go find him and talk to him!"

"I---" Near sighed. "All right." He stood up and walked into the orphanage again, hands in his pockets as he thought.

Near pulled Mello out of his room and dragged him towards his own, ignoring Matt's surprised yells. Mello didn't struggle, just allowed himself to be pulled. When they reached Near's room, he shut the door and dropped Mello.

"Hello, Near." Mello said calmly. "Does Near wish to speak with me?"

"Obviously!" Near snapped. "Look, I was---when I kissed you earlier..."

"I was not aware Near was so uncomfortable with the idea." Mello commented, twirling his hair. "As such, I will take my leave and keep it in mind." As he stood up, Near pushed him down.

"Don't move." He hissed. Then he sighed, running his hand through his hair. "Look, what I meant was, when I did it earlier, I didn't really think of you. I was more---"

"Near's reasoning doesn't really matter." Mello said, standing up again. "Near kissed me, and it wasn't a big issue until Near decided to 'take off', as Matt so eloquently put it." He walked to the door, pausing by Near. "If it helps," Mello muttered quietly, "I was not all the upset by the idea of Near kissing me. As a matter of fact," and here he turned slightly red, and stuck his finger in his hair, twirling silver locks. "I would have very much enjoyed it if I were not taken off-guard by something like that again." Before he could say anything else, Near leaned forward and kissed him again, softer this time.

Mello reached up and wrapped his arm around Near's neck, closing his eyes.

"Here's to our success." L stated, raising a teacup of sludge. Beyond Birthday did the same, and Matt raised his PSP without looking up from the screen. "As we are successful, I see no reason to continue the way we are." L concluded, reaching over and shutting off the screen in front of them. The image of Mello and Near kissing disappeared. "Beyond, Matt, I think we will be able to take the cameras out of the rooms by tomorrow evening."

"Finally." Matt sighed in relief. "All the cameras around Wammy's was starting to freak me out. Seriously."