We talked a lot about Mello. It's about time we talk about Near, too. I belive it's important to focus once again on Near and Mello's meeting. Even though, Climax already summed it up, I bring everything up again with more details about their very first discussion.
When Mello hit Near, he did indeed shoot a glare at him, but so did Near. Linda only made the greetings and told Mello that they will get along well because Near was also sharp as him. They didn't even shake hands. He just said "maybe". Then, Linda left them alone and Near looked at the tall blond boy before him with curiosity. That made Mello uncomfortable, even though he is an extrovert. I'm recreating their conversation here:
"Aren't you going to pick up your pu-"
"Are you the first ranked child in this orphanage?" Near's eyes stood still on Mello's face.
Mello frowned. He didn't know what he was playing at. "Yes, what about it?"
"I heard your name is known and I wanted to be sure the rumour about you being the best is valid."
Near started to play with his hair and Mello grinned at the word "the best". "When you hear rumours about me, is better to check directly at the source."
"I did so. You seem pleased, but not too confident."
"Enough with this fake friendly talk. What is it that you want?" Mello, by Near's attitude, knew that something was not right. This figure was awfully strange and he was waiting for Mello to be his prey. Deadly eyes, deadly expression and shades of "innocence".
Near stopped curling his hair to speak. "I consider your behaviour too chaotic and too self-absorbed to deserve the title of L's successor."
I guess you could imagine Mello boiling of anger and ripping Near's skin off. However, again, at that time, Mello didn't have anger issues. He felt irritated and bit his lip.
"Our conversation just started. You can't possibly know me from 3 sentences or so." As Mello spoke, Near started to pick up his puzzle and Mello helped him get all the pieces except one he hid in his pocket. "Also, it's rather mean to state such things without considering the other's possible reaction."
"Mean?" The white figure looked up at Mello.
"I worked hard for this title. I deserve it more than anyone else. I cannot accept such a comment from someone who's not even as prepared as me."
"According to your vocabulary, mean means stating untrue things about an individual. In this case, you've been mean to me, too. If I wasn't good enough, I wouldn't be here now."
"I've been mean to you because I wanted to be even. Excuse me now, there is no longer a point in speaking to each other."
The elegant, sassy British style of leaving. Mello left the room and Near watched him until he was no longer in his visual area. I talked with Mels on the hallway right afterwards. He told me he's slightly pissed because "some no one dared to doubt his intelligence due to his active socializing".
The next day, Near was placed in the same class with me and Mello. It was strange because Near was two years younger than Mello. We didn't know this aspect back then, but it still feels weird to have worked hard two more years to be in that class and Near comes in without raising a finger.
Now, I'll explain Wammy's structure. It's divided in three main profiles:
Profile C: Art. Classes: Sketches (mostly portraits - Linda was assigned here), Design, Architecture.
Profile B: Literature. Classes: Novels, Poetry and Drama.
Profile A: Masterminds. Children who lack a brilliant logic. Classes: Mathematics, Computers and Physics. Me, Mello, Near and Climax are on this profile. However, Climax is on the Physics side while the other three of us are in the special class for L's successors.
Near stood in front of Mello as the class begin. I saw Mello wasn't interested in the reason why he was here with us. However, when the teacher asked a question which was rather difficult to answer, both Near and Mello's hands raised simultaneously. The teacher let Mello speak first. Mello's argument had holes in it. When Near spoke, he gave an argument which was followed by examples of situations in which it is valid. It was, pretty much, the opposite of Mello's theory. Nobody dared to tell Mello that he's wrong (and even come with reasons).The teacher agreed that Near's statement was correct. All the other thirteen kids (including me) looked at them and thought something was fishy.
The next day we had some sort of test based on the other day's lecture and discussion. Even though, we gave our own opinions in class, during the test you had to explain everything from the point of view considered correct by the teacher (which was, in fact, Near's statement). You had to agree with it and give pro arguments. What Mello did was, well, agree in the beginning (because that's how you start it) and come with cons to it. I laughed a lot when he told me how embarrassed he felt after he gave that paper away. That test was more like a revision. It wasn't a big deal, but it did make Mello uneasy. It was the first time he wasn't sure of himself.
After a week, we had a maths test. The teacher gave our papers back and Mello smiled at it. He thought he had the highest score and then, one of the kids alongside Near asked him what score he got and he handed over his test. When Mello saw it, he froze. Mello got 97 points and Near got 100 points. Mello stood there in his seat shaking and shivering. After about two minutes, someone asked what was the highest score. Mello clenched his fists and asked to go to the toilet. I went after him five minutes later.
He threw up and stood on the cold floor. "Mello.." I turned him to face me and saw he was crying.
"Nothing happened." He said as he slapped my hand away. "You don't have to come after me."
I sighed as I was thinking how to be gentle with this subject. "You know you are the best." I hoped it would comfort him, but it didn't work out well.
"Not any more.. He was first. He-" I felt the need to cut him off.
"It's just a test, the beginner's luck."
It wasn't luck. It wasn't what the teacher fancied more. Mello knew it. Other tests came and Mello was second. He worked all the night and everything was in vain. It was settled that Near is L's successor and Mello cried every single night because of it. He had nightmares from which he always woke up to meet another one. The only thought that made Mello keep working was that when L spoke to us, he said it's not about numbers but about logic and manner of doing things. Mello becoming the next L was still possible. That made him regain his posture.
I remember when Mello hit Near for the first time. I remember everybody thought he was dead. Maybe he actually was. He lost his consciousness and his memory.