The sound of a stampede of orphans dragged me out of the blissful realms of unconsciousness and I sat up, rubbed my eyes to clear my vision, and then realized I'd fallen asleep on the common room floor the night before. "Matt! Matt, get up! There's a present for you!" Linda squealed, shoving a box in my face and skipping away to the pile of gifts underneath the tree after I shoved her off of me.

"Huh, there's a card…" I plucked the envelope off the top of the box and examined it, slowly opening it up to find a note from Mello.

Here's a fun game for you
My stripe-wearing friend
Follow my clues to the T
And there's a surprise at the end

This clue is the first
In the string of a few
So, in short, this first clue
Has been given to you

There's a place in the house
That's way great for gaming
The second clue's there
So there's where you're aiming

Laughing quietly under my breath, I said to no one in particular, "A game, eh? Sounds like fun. Let's see…"

There's a place in the house
That's way great for gaming…

Um, anywhere? Really, I can game anywhere. But maybe there was a certain location in Wammy's that was the best. Like in my bed, but Mels and I were the only ones allowed in our room. Or like in the common room… on the… couch…

"Damn, the couch!" I swore, standing up and turning around to face the couch behind me. Lo and behold, pinned to one of the armrests was a small piece of paper with some writing on it. Mentally cheering in triumph, I snatched the note from its resting spot and read it over.

The third clue's location
Should be rather clear
It'll help me meet my goal
And finally beat Near

I grumbled, "Way to be specific, Mels," pocketed the note, and walked purposefully out of the common room doors. Letting out the breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding, I stopped at each classroom on my way down the hall, though I didn't find jack shit in any of them.

Somehow, I was led to the library. Figuring 'to hell with it,' I shouldered open the doors and searched around, finding the third note taped to the underside of the table Mello usually sat at when he was studying the day away in a vain attempt to try to kick Near's ass.

Four is a piece of cake
You just need to think
If you don't hurry up
Your chances will sink

I looked over it a few times, muttering, "The fuck, man. Makes no sense… Piece of cake, sink, what the hell?"

Shoving that note into my pocket to join the other, I left the library and walked the opposite way down the hall, back the way I came. On my way, one of the other teens crashed into me and knocked me over. "Ah, shit, Matt. Sorry about that," Mace apologized, holding out a hand to help me back to my feet before running off with Jason.

Shaking my head, I continued with my hall trekking until I saw a flash of black in my peripheral vision. "Ellie!"

"¿Sí?" she answered, turning to face me with a bright smile and a Christmas cookie in her hand. "¿Qué tal, Matt?"

Waving the note, I replied, "¿Me ayude, por favor?"

She smiled wider. "Sí. Of course I will. What is it you need?"

"Mello left me a note with a clue to the next," I explained, handing her the paper, "but I don't understand where this one is pointing me. Can you help?"

Reading it, she nodded in affirmation. "I shall try. The note says that it is a 'piece of cake' and your chances might 'sink.' I believe it is a code. Where in the house can you find cake and a sink?"

Damn, did I feel like a dumbass. "Shit, the kitchen sink! How did I not see that before?" Giving her a quick hug and thanking her, I took the note pack and rushed off to the kitchen. When I got there, one of the cooks stopped me in my tracks and demanded to know what I was doing in there. I was able to get off the hook by promising that it wouldn't take longer than five minutes.

Since I was on a deadline, I wasted no time dicking around and went straight for the cabinet under the sink, nearly jumping for joy when I found clue number four. Practically skipping, I thanked the cooks and read the note on my way out.

Clue number five's
The reward of your hunt
To save you some trouble
I'll just be real blunt:

Your prize awaits you
In the room with your bed
When you walk through the door
Keep your eyes overhead

Okay, next (and final, I presumed) stop was mine and Mello's room. Trying not to full-out sprint despite my obvious excitement, I sped up the stairs and to my room. As instructed by the note I found in the kitchen, I looked up as I walked in, seeing a bundle of leaves and little red berries.

The first thing I saw when I averted my gaze back in front of me was Mello, standing there wearing a Santa hat and sporting a cute pink blush. "Mello…?"

"All my other attempts were a swing and a miss," he started, stepping closer and wrapping his arms around my neck, "so would you skip my confession and just give me a kiss?"

Smiling a genuine smile, I gently pressed my lips to his and slid my hands into his hair as I pulled his hat off. All too soon oxygen became a necessity, and Mello pulled back to grin at me and play with my hair as I returned his smile. "Merry Christmas, Mels."

"Merry Christmas, Mattie," he breathed, pulling me forward to meet in the middle in a kiss that took my breath away, this one longer and much more confident. Before it could really go anywhere, I broke it and smirked smugly at him.

Taking in his confused expression, I said, "For your information, that's holly, you git," and pointed up to the bunch of leaves attached to the top of the door frame. "But I don't give a fuck as long as you're under it."

Author's Note: Everybody, all together now:

Deck the halls with loads of bishies
Fa la la la la, la la la la
'Tis the season for teh yaoi
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Writers don their sharpened pencils
Fa la la, la la la, la la la
And craft teh hawtness for teh peoples
Fa la la la la, la la, la la

Ah! Nothing like a little MxM to get ya into the holiday spirit. :)