Here you guys go - chapter 3! I hope you enjoy!

"You're kidding, right?"

I could tell, no matter how he tried to sound cool, that Mello was pissed. I was quite bewildered myself - Roger wanted us to work together. Mello and I. Asking the two of us to work together is as pointless as asking L to stop eating sweets. Not going to happen.

"Now, now. You two should have known that you were bound to partner up at some point, being a the top of the list to be L's successor. I'm only asking that you two check on the records down in the storage room. I decided to use you two for this job because I thought it would be a great opportunity for you to test your investigation skills in a real world setting and give you a chance to start working together for once. What do you say? Near?" I nodded. "Mello?"

"Yeah, whatever." Mello said, his eyes to the floor. " But we need to start getting harder cases. I mean, we are the top of the list, right?" With that Mello exited the room.

I'm sure Roger was just as astonished as I. To not only say yes to work with ME, but without putting up a fight wasn't exactly a part of his character. He must have some ulterior motive, one I will be uncovering shortly.
When I left Roger's office, I found Mello leaning against the stair-case railing, waiting for me. When I reached him, he began to descend the stairs without a single word. He walked smoothly despite the leather. Hands in his pockets, eyes still closed- dare I say it, he admittedly looked cool. It was no wonder the other Whammy kids looked up to took such long strides it was difficult for me to keep up, and when I did manage to catch up with him, he would push on forward. It didn't take much to see what was going on- he didn't want to be seen with me. For Mello, the cool guy, to be working with Near, the albino alien, it wouldn't be a good mark on his reputation.

When we finally reached the record room, Mello pulled out a set of keys he must have gotten off of Roger and tried out each one in the key hole. I took the time to figure out what stunt he was looking to pull.
"So Mello, do you mind informing me on why you agreed to work with me on this?"

"What are you talking about. I was asked to do a job and I said yes. No big deal."

"Mello, as you already know, I'm not an idiot."
Obviously getting frustrated he dropped the keys and turned to look at me.

"Listen here you little shit, I don't want to have to do this as much as you do. But, like I said, I was asked to do a job. With all the trouble Matt and I have gotten in lately, I figured I might as well make up for it by giving the old man less of a fight when he asked me to do something. I thought if I can get on his good side, I might have the advantage you have and level the playing field. When that happens, then I'm really gonna kick your ass."With that he turned back around, bent to get the keys, and finally managed to unlock the door.

Level the playing field? What could he mean by that?

The musty smell of dust was the first thing I noticed upon entering the room. No one came in here very often, due to being able to keep files on a computer hard drive. The room was fairly large, but that was only because equipment and so on were also kept down here. The dim light coming from the ceiling didn't do too good a job of lighting the place, but it served it's purpose.

"OK, so," Mello said more to himself than me, "We need to find these files." He slipped me a paper he must have gotten off of Roger's desk with the file list.

I sighed, "Well, I suppose we better get busy. I can start on the first half, while you work on the second. That way we will stay out of each other's way. I know you'd like that plan, Mello."

"Yeah, whatever."
After maybe a half hour of going through files, I had finished my list. I turned around to find Mello still searching. I could tell by the look on his face he'd rather be playing violent video games with Matt or harassing younger school children than going through old files in a stuffy storage room. Despite my head telling me to stay on my side of the room, some other voice told me to give him a hand. As usual when it came to Mello, I paid no mind to my head.
Cautiously, I stepped over to where he was fingering through a cabinet full of manila folders.

Being sure not to get too close, I broke the solemn silence that had once occupied the room. "Mello, I have finished my part of the list. If it is fine with you, I'd like to speed up the process by giving you a hand."

"I don't need your help." I barely heard him mutter under his breath.

Stepping closer, I bent over him to watch him work and continued, "But, Mello, you have only gone through a couple records. Why don't y-"

" I SAID I COULD HANDLE IT. Now buzz off before I kick your scrawny, white ass into next week." He was standing in front of me now, his fists balled and up by his chest like he was ready to pound on me were I to utter one more syllable.

Being the stubborn boy I am, I ignored his hot-headed retaliation and pushed forward. "I know you don't want to do this. I'm trying to give you a hand here. Now if you don't mind, will you please back away and let me help. If it makes you feel any better, I wont tell Roger I did part of your share." With that Mello turned away and went back to work. I took that as an invitation to help where I saw fit.

I decided I would start from the end of his portion of the list. After going through every binder and cabinet on the floor, I the file I was trying to find must be stored on a higher shelf. Thankfully the shelves were labeled, so I knew the exact shelf the file was to be found. "Mello." I called over to him.

"What do you want already?"

"It appears I'm going to need a ladder. Do you think you can bring me one?"

"What, the little shrimp doesn't want to get his hands dirty?" Before I could object, he rose from his crouched position over the cabinet and began to walk to where the ladder was leaned against the wall. Picking it up, he sauntered over to me and leaned it against the correct shelf.

When I began to climb up it, I turned and called to Mello again. "Don't you think you should hold it in case it were to fall?"

"It wont fall, and if it does, it isn't my problem."
With that I continued my way up the old wood ladder, tightly holding onto each rung until I made it to the top. When I stopped, though, I was hit hard with the worst nausea and dizziness I've had since having those damn spells.
Before I could catch myself, I felt my hand losing it's grip and my body tilting back towards the hard concrete ground. I screamed out to Mello as a wave of darkness began to consume me.


Hello again! I think I might start having little messages at the bottom of some chapters, still debating! But, what's wrong with Near, and will he be alright?! I'm as in the dark as you; still throwing some ideas around in my head, SOOO, you wont be getting any hints from me c;
You'll just have to keep reading to find out!