Near sat in the middle of the room, towers of dice around him, as he made his Transformers fight. He made them go towards each other, and threw one about a foot away when they collided and he decided that Optimus Prime would beat Megatron. Megatron collided with two towers of dice (each tower had a six facing out, with twos for the windows) that resembled the recently fallen Twin Towers. In the background, the radio Gevanni left was playing softly. Near didn't care for the rock music that Gevanni left on---it was a little annoying (he made a mental note to remind Gevanni to take the damn radio next time) but he didn't stand up to turn it off. It was loud enough to give Near a slight headache, but it wasn't so loud that Near couldn't hear himself think (besides, the rock music reminded him of someone).

"And now---" By this point, Near was debating whether or not to just shut the radio off when the song started.

"Let it go
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don'tcha know?
The hardest part is over
Let it in
Let your clarity define you
In the end
We will only just remember how it feels.
" Near tilted his head and stood up, walking over to the radio. Instead of shutting it off, however, he merely turned up the volume so he could hear it better. Satisfied he could hear it properly, he returned to his toys and closed his eyes.

"Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours still remain.
" He heard a door open and close, but Near, his eyes shut, had gone through his memory until he found the one he wanted. The memory of his first few days at his old home. Opening his eyes, he saw, not the room he was in, but the play room of Wammy's Orphanage. Kids were running by to go outside to play soccer, while he sat inside with Transformers (Optimus Prime and Megatron), watching them run by in disinterest.

"Come play, Near." He looked up to find a scar-less, slightly shorter-haired, ten-year-old Mello holding his hand out to him. Blinking slowly, Near returned his attention to his toys.

"Mello knows that I am not suitable for outside. I will stay in here, thank you." He told Mello. Mello stared down at the eight-year-old, confusion in his eyes, before he plopped himself next to Near.

"Mello, come on!" One of the boys stuck his head into the room. Mello waved him off.

"Next time, I promise, ok?" He yelled back. Turning to face Near, who was raising an eyebrow at him, Mello smiled. "Don't just stare at me. Give me one so I can play."

Near sighed. That had been the only time---just that one afternoon---that he knew what it felt like to play with someone. Mello had played with him all day until dinner time, and then after dinner he helped Near bring his things to his room and played with him until Roger came and told them they had to go to bed. He remembered Mello had walked out after Roger.

"See ya around, kid." He said, smiling as he stood in the doorway. "Y'know, you're not all that bad."

After that, when the test scores came out, it became common knowledge that Near beat Mello, and Mello hated him from that point on. Mello didn't come to play with Near (unless it was to knock over Near's towers or steal pieces of his puzzle) and Near often thought of the one day that Mello was his friend.

"Let it slide
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine
Til you feel it all around you
And I don't mind
If it's me you need to turn to
We'll get by
It's the heart that really matters in the end.
" Near blinked and his room came into focus.

"Come play, Near." A soft voice called out. Blinking at the familiar words, Near looked up to find a face with a scar decorating the left half, blonde hair falling into warm blue eyes, a twenty-year-old Mello, his hand outstretched towards Near. Near blinked at him.

"Mello knows I am not suitable for outside." He chided gently. Mello raised an eyebrow. "I will stay in here, thanks."

"Who said anything about going outside?" Mello asked softly, sitting down next to him slowly. The eighteen-year-old blinked in surprise. "Don't just stare at me. Give me one so I can play." Hesitatingly, Near handed a Transformer to Mello.

"Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These small hours still remain.
" Mello glanced at the radio playing.

"Never thought you'd be one for music, Near." Near shrugged.

"It belongs to Gevanni." He said. "I merely forgot to tell him to bring it with him, and I did not feel like getting up to turn it off." Mello smiled.

"All of my regret
Will wash away somehow
But I can not forget
The way I feel right now.
" Near felt a soothing calm come over him, and didn't blink when Mello touched the side of his face gently. He turned his head, and Mello, leaning forward slightly, kissed him. Not shocked in the slightest, Near placed his hand on the back of Mello's neck and kissed back.

"In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Yea, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away
Yea, but these small hours
These small hours still remain.
"They pulled away, and Mello smiled gently at Near. Near blinked a for a few seconds.\

"Mello..." He whispered.

"Yea?" Mello responded just as quietly.

"Does Mello remember Wammy's house?" Mello winced slightly but nodded anyway. "My favorite memory from Wammy's house was the one afternoon..."

"Yea, oh
They still remain
These little wonders
oh, these twist and turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These little wonders
Still remain."

"Which one?" Mello asked softly when Near trailed off. Both noticed how their faces were inches from each other but neither moved in the opposite direction. "We've both had our fair share of afternoons in Wammy's."

"The one afternoon that most have forgotten." Near said softly, leaning forward a little more so that when he spoke again his lips were brushing against Mello's. "The one where Mello didn't play soccer for one afternoon, and spent the entire day with me in the play room." Mello's eyes widened.

"That was..."

"So long ago." Near said softly. "But it's my treasured memory all the same." He leaned his forehead against Mello's and smiled softly. "The only thing that kept me sane in Wammy's."