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Title: Chess
Fandom: Death Note
Pairing: Mello/Near
Word Count: 223
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note nor its characters.
Author's Note: This one is for kurosaki_akane

Mello has always hated chess.

And yet, in his room in the compound where he rules in all but name, there is a chessboard, set carefully out of the way to avoid accidental disruption of the game in progress. His opponent, if one exists, is no one who resides there, nor anyone who visits. Only Mello moves these pieces, confidently pushing a black one forward with a smirk or cautiously sliding a white one with a frown of concentration and an angry snap of chocolate bitten off more fiercely than usual. The movements are arcane, not always strictly following the rules of the game, but no one else ever sees them to question.

In good moods, if he glances that direction, his eyes barely pause to rest on the board. Perhaps he smiles, if he notices it at all. In bad, he stands over it, scowling, fists clenched at his sides. He remembers past games, when he was younger and far from here, when he didn't hesitate to turn over the board and storm out of the room, anything to get away from the placid stare that, even in memory, he wants to disturb, throwing rocks in desperate hope of ripples.

No matter how tempted or angry he is, he leaves the game in place. Mello hates chess, but he can't stop playing.