Near never heard or saw Mello again after that night. He was depressed, but it never showed.

"What I'd do to see him for just another night," Near would think silently to himself as he sat smothered in between the crimson cushions, staring watchfully out the big oval window that took up most of his room.

It soon dawned on him that Mello wasn't coming back. He waited and waited. Days turned into months and months turned into years. By then it was clear to him that Mello had probably left the orphanage for good. He had said it that night, years back in his own room.

"I'm leaving." the pain that Near had been trying to conceal broke loose and all his emotions came flooding out. He sat there with one leg hanging loosely off the seat and cried bitterly. All those years of holding it all inside had finally became too much. All those years of waiting… for him. Near was certain this was the first time he cried for anyone. It was utterly hopeless crying for someone who wasn't coming back. He knew that.

"Come back.. please.." his voice was quivering at the force of his sobs, his whole body shaking with emotion. The day that Mello left had left Near with scars that he knew would never heal. His hands were wrapped around the foil wrapper of the dark chocolate that they had shared that night years ago. That particular day was special too because they had been so close to each other.. became one even. Near's gaze trailed from the snow that was gathering on his windowsill to the small pocket calendar he kept hanging on the wall next to the big mahogany cupboard that was filled with clothes he didn't need. His body felt numb as he walked towards it, his legs stiff like those of a doll. He flipped the delicate paper of the calendar one by one until he reached Mello's birthday month. This day, today, is when Mello turns 18. Will he come back? Near couldn't stop imagining about how their reunion would be like if Mello did come back. He felt a pang of excitement deep in his gut. There is a possibility. He passed by the long mirror that reflected his pale reflection and took small steps backward, to take a closer look at himself. His eyes were the same liquid coal colour and around his small nose, there were tiny freckles that were not fully visible. His lips were the same pale pink, and the small smile that slowly spreaded across his mouth revealed two small rows of perfect white teeth. His stark white hair is cropped in messy layers that almost reached to his shoulders. He reached down to unbutton his pajamas, curious to see more of his hidden features. As he watched his pyjama top fall to the floor, he started inspecting his arms too, and realized for the first time, how pale his skin was. His eyes flickered back up to look at the mirror and saw his skinny body reflected back at him. He caressed his body, briefly brushing lightly over his nipples and giggled slightly at the ticklish sensation that rushed through his body.

"Looks like you're still as beautiful as when I left you." Mello's voice suddenly filled the quiet room. Near felt his face stretch into a grin. He was back. He wanted to run into the safety of Mello's arms, to feel the warmth of his body against his once more. He gasped as he felt Mello's arms wrap around his small waist, and there he was. In the mirror, Mello's reflection looked almost angelic. His blond hair was dyed brown at the tips, eyes that were still the colour of azure and his body was still fit as it was before. And his scent… it brought back happy memories.

"Happy 18th birthday, Mello." he felt the blonde exhale into his hair, bringing icy chills that ran down his spine like ice.

"Look at yourself."

"I already did."

"Oh really? Have you seen the faces you make when I play with you?"


"Watch." Mello's hands travelled up the boy's flat stomach, up to his chest, where he started to tease Near by pinching his nipple.

"Ah!" Near blushed as he watched himself in the mirror, just as Mello had ordered him to. The smirk on the blonde's face showed that he had been waiting for this for a long time. His body stiffened as Mello's fingers cupped his chin, tilting it upward. The blonde forced his forefinger into the boy's mouth, ordering him to play with it with his tongue.

"You have been waiting for this, haven't you? Mello watched as Near struggled to follow his instructions. Mello turned the boy around so that Near was facing him, so that he could see the pale boy's reactions