Disclaimer: I don't own Death Note.

Notes: I wrote this months and months ago, but forgot to upload it. D: Near/L.

I. L, they tell him, is perfection.

"I understand," Near says, and he takes the tests and memorizes the books, but there's something missing (sunlight on a cloudless day and seafoam splashing against the sand), something he can't grasp; tests marked 99 feel empty in his hands.

Near isn't fond of the color white (blank answer spaces, pictures not painted and words not written) but to be perfect is to be unbiased, so he bathes himself in it.

He doesn't meet L until he is twelve years old, but Near thinks he understands him all the same.

III. And here, pressed against the wall, staring into L's deep eyes (acrylic paint spread too thick on canvas; infinite space through dark mirrors), Near understands.

Near's monotone is broken, his dreams shattered, and he can't look away, can't close his eyes as L leans down to kiss him (one hand on Near's chest, reaching for his fluttering heartbeat.) And L's hands are roaming up Near's shirt, his lips leaving chaste kisses on his throat, and Near lets his eyes drift closed, lets his vision become overtaken with darkness.

He will never be L, but this is enough.

II. The day L dies, everything is grey. Steady rain leaving shadows on the wall like candles flickering (he reaches out to touch them, to spread them down the wall like paint, but they're gone, they're nothing, they're slipping through his fingers.)

He's gone. He's gone and Near is still here, still breathing, almost the only thing left of him.

Near's puzzle is sitting by the window; the rain may morph it, temporarily, but after L, nothing can change it (after L, no one will touch it)–Near's puzzle will stay pure white.