Dream of Mirror

Ice-Puppet

Death Note

Pairing; Mello/Near

Warnings; Shounen-ai, boy/boy love, cursing, spoilers for real names, AU, a little bit of oocness

Authors notes; Welcome, I'm Ice-Puppet. I recently began playing an online game called Dream of Mirror online. After playing it a few days, the idea to write a story based on it popped into my head... Dream of Mirror has a quite interesting plot and I realized it would make quite a good story. After a while I decided to write a Death Note fanfiction based on it- I adore Death Note and I love writing Mello and Near.

Author note 2; This story is based 4.9 years after the end of death note; making Near around 22 years old. He acts a bit out of character in this story, but I maintain the idea that after almost 5 years people change, especially after losing everyone that they know / care for.

Many different plains co-exist with the one you think you know.

Each choice you make, each step you take creates a different world, countless words bending in moving together in a flow of time. What you think is reality may not be reality else where, things can vary from simple choices – you decide to take a left instead of a right – to big ones – you decide to say yes instead of no.

None of these worlds cross paths.

Each and every world has a mirrored universe, a place to swirl together everything and make it bond. A place just like your own- this mirrored world co-exists with the real world, never straying from the path its real counter part takes. If anything were to go wrong in this world, the consequences could be the unweaving of time and existence.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what has begun to happen.

The creatures of this mirrored universe have begun to act out- they've begun to attack villagers of their own accord. Unfortunately, this has lead to the creatures of this mirrored plain losing all power. It is just as we have feared – things have begun to unravel, people have begun to disappear. The people of this mirrored world are suffering… I can only imagine what has happened to their real counter parts.

Our people are weakened and can not fight back against these monsters. First, we must focus on protecting our own before we can try and set the world back to right.

In order to fight the war against these monsters, we will need outside help. Myself and the other nine mirror kings have gathered our strength together in order to pull two individuals into our own world, to protect it. We do hate to force our war upon someone else… believe me, this is a last resort.

We've chosen two individuals because in our years of ruling we have learned that the best protecting is the protection of love. Two souls mates, when brought together, can be unstoppable. But, unfortunately, when pulled apart, they are at their weakest.

Our strongest two kings were chosen to pull these two into our plain. I, myself, was one of the chosen two. The abilities of four of our other kings were passed onto me, before they four hid themselves in order to protect their weakened selves from the creatures. The same is true of my fellow summoner and her four kings.

Unfortunately, our attempt to summon had failed. We had managed to latch on to two individuals, but their connected string was tainted… torn. At first we could not figure out why, but now I realize our mistake… still, we cannot go back now. Perhaps this torn thread can be mended? If not… we are all doomed.

--

The last thing he could remember was a screech of tires.

It hadn't been his fault. Of course not. Some drunken idiot, most likely, running a stop sign. He could distinctly remember a "walk" symbol being displayed across that busy street. Green and blinking, mixed with that awful chirp chirp chirp they'd inserted for the blind. Not a hard destination to reach, a simple cross walk like a million others. If he believed in fate he would say it was cruel, his stepping out at that very moment, the timing of a drunken individual. Everyone had a day to die, right? The Shinigami eyes proved that… a life span. A specific death date. No way to avoid it, that's the harsh truth.

But if this was death, then where was the pain? He hadn't felt the car collide with his body, hadn't felt his insides shoved through his outsides. There had merely been that sound, then darkness. Death couldn't be that painless, could it? Then, on top of that- he had never believed in Heaven or Hell, or any sort of afterlife. This couldn't be those, there was no possible way such things could exist.

So where was he?

Forcing his heavy eyelids open as he pulled himself to his feet, he found himself in the center of what looked to be a small village. Strangely, although he appeared to be laying on the ground in this new place, no one was around… he doubted that this place was deserted, considering a nearby fire burned as if it had just been started.

"Nate River."

The sound of his own name caught his attention, causing him to turn and look toward the one who had spoken.

A young looking man, perhaps around his own age, stood a few feet from him. His long black hair spilled across his back and shoulders, pulled away from his pale face and silver eyes. He was dressed strangely, like an emperor in China might dress. Golden layers of robes, hanging down off of his slender body- hair dawn up in braids and loops.

However, while this dress is very interesting, there's something much more important on his mind.

"How do you know my name?"

As far as he knew, few people knew his name. L had known it and had taken that knowledge with him to the grave. The memory would have rested at him if it hadn't been for the Shinigami eyes and Mikami Teru- thanks to him, four Japanese police officers and three of his own men knew a secret that so much effort had to put into covering up.

So how was it a stranger in a strange place could know his name?

"Don't appear so surprised," the young man informed, his voice flat and devoid of feeling. Stupid words for him to say, of course- they'd obviously never met, he would remember someone dressed like this, so of course it would surprise him. "I know your name because it is I that summoned you here."

While he'd met a creature that most of the population would deny exists, he was not very open to anything paranormal. Perhaps if, between the four point nine years of Kira's death and this strange occurrence, he had met some other paranormal creature, or come across a scenario like the one of the Shinigami, he might be more open to such things. But he'd only been proven wrong once in his life time (well, twice, but that second thing has nothing to do with this situation) when it came to the paranormal.

"Where is this place?" Another quick glance around showed that the people of this village had finally begun to notice his appearance. A few young children were poking their heads out of their front doors, before their parents shooed them back inside. He turned his attention back to the strange man before him. "And why would you 'summon' me here?"

"This is a mirror world," the man explained. A strange answer. Mirror world? He's heard of stories that mention such things. "It is supposed to be an exact mirror to its real counter part… but recently the monsters have been acting up and because of that, this world has begun to crumble. I wish I could tell you what is happening to its real counter part… but whenever we glance into our mirrors we see nothing." A pause, as if waiting for a question, before he continued. "Let me explain… there are infinite worlds, infinite realities. Each of these realities has a mirrored world to keep it in balance… we creatures of the mirrored world are supposed to stay in complete harmony with our real counter parts, or devastating things may happen. However the creatures here are rebelling, attacking without warning, changing things. Because of that, the threads of existence between us and our counter part have begun to unweave… all of the people here have lost their magic and fighting abilities. We are unable to defend ourselves against this war. This is where you come in, Nate."

"Call me Near," he replied instantly, hating the sound of his own name. He hadn't heard that word spoken since his mother's death.

"Near," the man repeated, as if testing out the word. "Alright, Near you shall be."

Only after this agreement did Near decide to take in everything that had just been said. The idea of infinite existences and mirrored worlds was not a stretch, considering that there would be no way for him to disprove it. Creatures of a mirror world rebelling against their real-world counterparts isn't unbelievable as well… living only to copy someone else sounds fairly annoying, he supposes he can't blame them for acting out. The 'threads of existence' and all that sounds perhaps a bit off, but again he has no way to disprove it.

But where does he come in?

"Continue your explanation." Not a question, more of a demand. Near is perhaps used to always getting his way… spoiled. Always number one, always on top. No one had ever attempted to defy him… well, no one save for him. But that was another time, a memory amongst many. A feeling he had forced himself to push away years ago.

"I will answer any more of the questions that you have when you findhim," The man informed, glancing past Near and to a man who had begun to step out of his house…

Well, not really step. More like… float?

"Him?" Near questioned. One word, not much to go on.

"You'll know him when you see him," he responded. Then, as if it was an afterthought, he added, "My name is Quarrel, or Q. I am one of the ten kings of this mirror world. Later on you will meet the others. For now, the people of this village will help you get acquainted to this world. Perhaps from your world you have never seen such a race- I can tell from the surprised look you gave the village chief. They are called Sylph. Their beauty and grace make them stand out then the other races of this world… but I fear they have grown cold over the years. Because of their grace and beauty they have been targeted the most by the creatures of this world and they are becoming few and far between. I fear because you have become a Sylph you too will be targeted."

"I've what?" Near questioned, giving a quick glance down at himself. Sure enough, his feet hovered a few inches off of the ground… his fingers had become long and slender; his skin soft and smooth. What else had changed? And why had they changed in the first place?

"There are four creatures in this world," King Quarrel informed. "Humans, which are well balanced creatures, but a master of nothing. Shura, who are masters of power and seduction. Sprites, who are masters of perfection and speed. And Sylph, who are masters of grace and wisdom. I am fairly sure you have never traveled dimensions before, so let me explain how that works- when you enter a new world, even if the same races exist in your world, there is a chance that you will become something else, also that your appearance will change. While being born in your own world, you have no choice as to who you are, when you insert a new world your inner personality will choose who you become. Because you have become a Sylph, I will assume your inner self is beautiful, but perhaps a bit cold."

While Near was one to dislike having others tell him who he is, he felt no need to respond to those words.

"Now, I will leave you be," King Quarrel mused, before motioning to one of the nearby people who had finally wondered out of their homes. "That is the village cheif, Muhasha. He will help you get used to your new abilities, as well as give you some things you will need on your journey."

Before Near could say anything, King Quarrel began to fade away. But, before he'd completely disappeared, he informed, "Oh and just so you know… because you are from the real world, you cannot die here."

Then he was gone, as if he'd never been there.

The village chief, Muhasha, approached then… or rather, floated toward him. Near was unsure if he would ever get use to this floatingthing… but then again, he spent most of his time sitting instead of standing. Perhaps this wasn't much different?

"I am Muhasha," the village chief informed, before moving to bow. "Welcome, white one."

"White one?" Near repeated. When the chief began to bow, all of the other villagers followed suit. A frown crossed Near's face… true, he was used to being respected both as number one and as the current L… but no one had ever bowed lowly to him, let alone an entire village full of people.

"Why are you bowing?" He questioned, just as the village chief finally stood back up.

"What do you mean, white one?" he questioned. There was that name again…white one. He could understand where the name came from… being an albino, his skin, hair, and eyes all lacked pigment, and the fact that he wore all white added to it. But there had to be a reason behind the name, not just his looks.

"Why do you call me that?" He questioned next, looking around at all of the still bowing villagers.

The village chief seemed either confused or put off. He said nothing. In fact, it was a small girl who answered his question.

"You are the white one who is going to save us," she informed, stepping out from behind a door. Unlike the rest of her people, she wore a smile- the King had said these people were cold, yet this little girl appeared warm. The rest of the villagers turned to glare at her, as if she was not supposed to speak. "You and the dark one."

"Save you?" Near repeated, unamused. He had heard people say that 'L had saved them', people who had been against Kira, but he had always disliked these words. A knight in shining armor, that was what he was being compared to… jumping in front of a bus to push someone out of the way. A hero, that's what they wanted. But Near wouldn't push anyone out of the way of a bus. He's not a hero. "Who is the dark one?"

"You should know," she replied, before rolling her eyes. As if the answer was an obvious one.

"As much as we hate to admit it," Muhasha cut in, catching Near's attention. "Our people need you. And as unfair as it is for we to ask you, a stranger to this world, for your help… please understand that this is a last resort. Our people are powerless, we are weakened and dying. If the mirror kings believe that you are the one that can help us, then we will aid you in any way."

Near's automatic reaction was to say no. This was no case, he couldn't simply sit with his toys and examine the evidence… they wanted him in the front line of this war, fighting for their people.

…He could barely even believe all this was real. Ninety percent of him was sure that car had hit him and he'd been knocked unconscious. All of this was a dream. People don't get sucked into mirrored realities, people don't float, things like this don't happen. Then again, only a few years ago he had believed that Shinigami were just fairy tales and a notebook that causes death couldn't exist.

No. It was an easy thing to say. Two letters. One syllable. No. I wont fight your war. I'm not a hero. I prefer to sit on the floor and play with toys, I prefer to do puzzles. To solve from the background, not face to face. No. This is not my war, this is insanity. You want me to face creatures, things that can kill your people? No. No.

But then again, what choice did he have? According to King Quarrel, if all of the reflections in these 'mirrors' were gone, then a rebellion in this mirrored reality could be messing up its real version… it could 'unravel existence'. And, while Near disliked having such a thing on his shoulders, if it was up to him to save existence, was 'No' really an option? Even if he didn't plan on saving existence, chances were he would have to set the 'treads of time' right before he could return to his own world.

If he said no, he would most likely still be stuck here. And if what King Quarrel had been correct and he could not die here… what was the harm in helping?

"Alright," he mused, noticing the annoyance in his voice. A few of the villagers who had been holding their breath gave sighs of relief and that one little girl smiled. Near supposed he could muse later on how screwed up everything was at the moment and the likelihood that this was in fact a dream, but for now he let the village chief usher him into one of the buildings.

Once Near had figured out how to put his feet back on the ground, he found that walking was much easier then floating. While the other villagers looked at him weird, he paid attention to the man sitting across from him, attempting to explain the ways of his people.

"You were a human in your old reality, correct?" Muhasha asked, before explaining. "You prefer to put your feet on the ground, so I assumed. By the look on your face when I asked, I can tell I was correct. By the look now, you are surprised that I could tell. We Slyphs are emotionless beings, because you were born here as one of us I can only assume your emotions were often hidden, but as a human you still have them. We can read any sort of emotion in your eyes, because all we see when we look into each other's is nothing. While your face may be straight, your eyes show it all."

He motioned to a young woman, who stepped (or floated, rather) toward him. "This is my daughter, Marah," Muhasha explained. "Marah, would you please retrieve Samsara?"

She left, and Muhasha turned back to Near. "If you do not mind, white one, I would like to ask your name."

"Near," he informed, glad the chief had asked. Being called white one was getting old, fast.

"Near," Muhasha repeated. "I have another question for you, if you do not mind. This one may appear odd, at first. May I see your forehead?"

"It's not odd at all," Near replied. "I noticed that different people in this village had different markings on their foreheads, ones that did not appear to be family related. One would only assume that they would have something to do with this 'power' that you spoke of."

"You are a smart young man," Muhasha stated in a bit of awe. "Yes, that is exactly what the markings are for."

Near brushed his fingers below his bangs and pushed them back, out of his eyes. Muhasha hummed for a moment before motioning for him to put his hand down. "I assumed so… you are blessed with the power of the elements. As the White one, I am not surprised. Elementals are the strongest of the shamans, but they are also the most difficult to master. I do hope the fact that you have become a Sylph proves true, and you are as stubborn and as willing to act as we are."

While in fact it was true that Near was stubborn, he had never been willing to act. He'd always preferred making others do things for him, tricking them into being pieces of his puzzle… (one incident with a specific blonde and a gun came to mind, but he pushed it aside). But the aspect of learning something new, especially something apparently difficult to know, made his thirst for knowledge scream. (L would go crazy in this situation, Near supposed… the idea of learning something new… of learning magic of all things. He and L had always had the same problem, the problem of knowing everything. Of being bored with life.)

A man perhaps in his forties entered then, giving a low bow… if it was to the chief or himself, Near wasn't sure. "You called for me?" He asked.

"Samsara makes the best robes," Muhasha explained. "Samsara, would you please craft some robes for Near?"

"It would be my honor," Samsara stated, bowing again. "If you do not mind, kind sir, will you stand?"

Near did as asked, expecting to be measured in some way. But, instead, Samsara just gave him a quick once-over before bowing and excusing himself.

"There is a Shaman trainer in Eversun," Muhasha informed as Near sat back down. "She can teach you far more then I can. Eversun is the most populated city around… but you will find that Sylph there are few and far between. There is not much more that we can help you with here, other then the ways of our world. I hope this is enough?"

"Anything helps," Near commented. Any pieces of the puzzle help to make the ending picture. Plus, for all he knew sneezing in public could get you killed, here. Knowing the ways of this world would come in handy.

"What did the King explain to you, already?" Muhasha questioned.

"The different races," Near replied.

"Anything else?" Muhasha asked. Near resisted the urge to say, if he had said anything else I would have said so, instead just giving a shake of his head. "Alright, I will explain to the best of my abilities…"

He shifted a bit before beginning to speak. "Humans, Sprites, and Shura live together in peace… Sylph, however, are usually regarded as rude or snobbish. There are few who see them this way, but I do implore you to be careful. It is respectful to put away any weapon you may have before speaking to anyone." Near wasn't planning on carrying a weapon in the first place, although he supposed he might need to. "As you can see, the people here look quite a bit different then you do… I'm not sure if your look is a normal one in your home world, but generally people here do not have white hair and eyes. I'm sure many have heard of the white one's appearance, so it is likely that you will stand out in the crowds. The currency here is bronze, silver, and gold. One hundred bronze is a silver, one hundred silver is a gold. I can give you three silver, but I'm afraid that's all I can spare… that should last you until you can find some way to make your own, however. Food in Eversun is not horribly spendy."

He reached across the table and grabbed hold of a bag, removing three silver coins and handing them to Near. Then, as a second thought, he handed the bag over too. "This should do keep your things in, for now. I'm sure you can find a better one in the city."

Muhasha then went on with his explanations. "The creatures that hang around the cities are not powerful. In fact, they had always been peaceful creatures before the rebellion… unfortunately, no one knows why this rebellion began, though we all have our theories. King Quarrel may know, perhaps you should ask him the next time you speak with him…"

He hummed, as if trying to think of anything else. He then asked, "Do you have any questions?"

Near thought over the information before he finally asked something that had been bugging him. "Who is 'the dark one'?"

"You don't know?" Muhasha breathed. Near shook his head and the chief sighed. "That could be a problem… the dark one is supposed to be your counterpart in this journey. If you do not know who he is, I'm not sure how well this might go."

"My counterpart?" Near asked, thinking about it. Who could hiscounterpart be?

"In our world we have realized that being with a soul mate makes your abilities much stronger," Muhasha explained. "There are specific people who are born with the ability to see whom a person's soul mate is. I have never seen a case where two people who are soul mates have grown apart… in fact, I met my own wife on the streets because of a Match Keeper and we only grew closer, from there.

"The dark one was summoned here along with you, but not by King Quarrel. I am certain you will run into him at some later point, in fact I cannot see why you would not, as you will need him… or her, to fight."

Near wasn't sure how he felt about this dark one, then again he wasn't too sure about how he felt about this whole ordeal. While he was positive this was really happening, it felt more like a dream, like a movie he was watching. He felt disconnected from reality… then again, he had been felling like that quite a bit, recently. Ever since…

"Near?" Muhasha's voice cut into his thoughts. "Would you like something to eat, or perhaps some rest? It will take Samsara some time to make your robes, so…"

While he wasn't hungry or tired, Near agreed to lay down and possibly fall asleep, just for something to do… he hated being bored but seriously doubted anyone in this village would have a puzzle for him to do or some toys for him to play with.

An hour or so later, Near found himself laying on a rather uncomfortable bed, staring up at an unfamiliar ceiling. And, while he had often found himself doing this same thing recently, these moments seemed to tick by slower then any had in the past… which was saying a lot, considering.

While he should have been spending time reflecting, trying to put into place what was going on and who his counterpart might be, Near found his mind blank. It was not something he often felt… the problem with being a genius was that his mind was constantly racing, constantly calculating. He thought in numbers and equations, instead of emotions and reflections. It was… nice? - for lack of a better word - to lie there and just relax… to have nothing on his mind.

His quiet moment alone was interrupted after some time by that same little girl from before. She stepped (floated) in, carrying two dolls, one in each arm.

After a few moments of silence, Near sat up and addressed her. "Can I help you?"

"I'm bored," she replied, before holding out one of the dolls. "Play with me."

Not a question, more of a demand. He was reminded of himself, somewhat.

"I don't play with other people," he informed. The truth. Despite years of Linda attempting to get him to play with her or anyone else, he had always refused. (More because of the fact that they would ruin the things he had created, in his mind… nothing to do with loneliness or sorrow, although he was sure that's what Linda had seen it as.)

"You do now," she replied, plopping a doll into his lap and sitting (floating) down beside him. Near, who hated being told what to do, dropped the doll onto the bed beside him. He had never liked dolls, anyway. Too realistic, at least some of them… he preferred his robots and his legos, (his finger puppets). Things that didn't remind him of the real world when he lost himself in his make believe worlds.

(Maybe that was why he hadn't been so 'freaked out', when it came to all of this. It was just like one of his games, but real. The true question, howeve,r was if he was willing to admit that possibility.)

"My name is Obi," she explained, grabbing the doll from where he'd put it and playing it in her lap, next to the other one. "Grandfather says your name is Near." He wasn't surprised at her admission of being related to the chief elder… he had figured that out because of a lack of her being scolded when speaking out. "That's a stupid name." She had been attempting to get a reaction out of him, but had not succeeded. Near had never cared what others thought of him, let alone of his name. Obi tilted her head and looked at him, before twisting her features into a sour look. "Your just like the others… no emotions."

Not up to explaining himself to a child (considering she would be the first), Near instead gave his hands a glance. They seemed foreign, long and slender with perfect fingernails. He felt no different but at the same time apart from himself… then again, hadn't he felt that way a lot, recently? Because of-

"Near?" Again, pushed out of his thoughts. Obi was waving a doll in his face, as if to get his attention. "When you save the world, come back and visit me."

"Right," he replied, automatically.

"You're boring," Obi whined. Again, Near said nothing in return. Sighing, as if annoyed, she flipped onto her side, as if laying down, but still floating. "Tell me about your world."

"No," Near deadpanned, lifting a hand to curl a lock of hair around his finger.

"Does everyone look like you?" Obi questioned, tilting her head to the side. "Your hair is weird and short."

"No," he answered her first question.

"So you're weird there too, huh? You must be used to it." A smart girl, this one. "Do you have creatures in your world?"

"Yes, but they don't fight us, usually," Near explained. "Not unless we fight them or scare them."

"What about magic?"

His first thought was to answer no, but then the Death Note came to mind. "Sort of." It was an iffy answer, one that made him frown.

"What about soul mates?"

"I don't know."

"Do Sylphs get along with everyone else?"

"There are no Sylphs."

"That's lame."

Thankfully, Muhasha entered then to save him from Obi. Giving her a scolding tap on the forehead, the chief shooed her off before turning to Near. "Samsara was able to finish your robes in a shorter time then I had thought. Apparently he had been working on them ahead of time, in anticipation that you might arrive, and merely needed to make a few adjustments."

Muhasha shook his head, obviously thinking this as strange as Near did. But he said nothing, motioning for Near to follow him.

They stepped out into a larger room, perhaps a living room, and Near was lead up to a chair, instructed to climb up on it. This was either to make him easier to see, or the same height as the other (floating) people in the room.

"You are quite a bit shorter then any of our people," Samsara mused, moving to pull of Near's shirt without asking. Near almost fell off of the chair, trying to move away from his touch, only to have Muhasha grab him from the back and help in the removal of his clothes (apparently they had never heard of buttons, because both tried to pull his top over his head). "So I had to hem the bottom down, but that was the only adjustment."

"I'm less open, too, apparently," Near commented with a glare. "In my world we don't undress other people." Not usually, he didn't add in.

"My apologies, white one," Samsara droned, obviously not sorry, or at least that was how it seemed. "Please, remove the rest of your clothing, if you will."

"We also don't stand in front of others without clothes," Near pointed out.

"I fear you will not know how to place these robes on yourself," Samsara commented. "You may keep your under garments on, of course, white one."

"Of course," Near mused with a bit of a bite. Unlike him, but common of someone annoyed as he was.

Fairly uncomfortable standing there with his shirt and pants gone, Near soon realized that the tailor was in fact very correct about him being unable to put such robes on. Honestly, Near wasn't sure how he was going to manage to do so at any later point in time… was this really necessary, anyway? If he was going to stand out amongst the crowd here anyway, what was the point of him wearing clothes like they were? He didn't bother to complain, however- if this man had been so ready to create these robes that he had done so before his arrival, who was Near to put him down?

Not that he cared, of course. He just needed a reason to hold his tongue.

He had noticed that nearly everyone in this town wore alike robes- he supposed because of their ability to float the fact that the sleeves hung down to their knees was no problem. Why they felt the need to cover their hands, he didn't know. It was going to make doinganything more difficult then it needed to be. If he was going to be fighting, wouldn't this fancy outfit get ruined?

Samsara taken that nickname, white one, a bit too literally. These robes were almost completely white, with light violet thrown in every so often. Just like all of the other robes in this city, the under sleeves hung down to his knees, while the outer layers covered his upper arms. It was a surprisingly light outfit; in fact it almost felt like he was wearing liquid. Strangely more comfortable then his pajamas had been.

"This material is woven in with threads of magic," Samsara explained, possibly after catching a look in Near's eyes. "It will not hinder your movement ability and it will enhance your speed. It will also add quite a bit of defense."

"When I said he was the best, I meant it," Muhasha commented in approval. "No other tailor is able to weave magic into their thread."

Near assumed he was supposed to be impressed and hoped they would pass off his lack of appreciation as something from his home world. About the only thing that could impress him was someone who could beat him at something… which he had yet to find, even in his twenty two and a half years of life. Boring.

"How do they feel, Near?" Muhasha asked, motioning to the robes.

Near lifted his arms, the long sleeves hanging off of his hands. "Why are the sleeves like this?"

"When you use strong magic, as you are casting the spells can burn your hands," Samsara explained, almost annoyed. Common knowledge around here, Near supposed. "The sleeves are to prevent that from happening."

Near didn't give a response, instead turning to the chief as he cleared his throat.

"I will have someone summoned to take you to Eversun," he informed, motioning to someone standing off in the side of the room. Whoever it was scurried (floated) off. "It is barely an hours walk-" (float) "-from here. The path should be clear of creatures, you should be safe until you speak to the Shaman in the city. The woman you will be looking for is named Aireio."

A few moments later, a young woman entered, giving a low bow.

"Sapphire will be your transport to Eversun," Muhasha explained, motioning to the woman. He then paused and offered Near a somewhat worried, "Good luck on your adventures, white one… I wish you well."

Near merely gave a nod in response before following Sapphire outside.

"Are you ready to go?" She questioned, looking toward the gate out of the village.

"Why wouldn't I be," he stated, tying the bag Muhasha had given him upon a loop, which he assumed was created for that very purpose.

"I don't know," Sapphire replied. "You're from a different universe, for all I know you have to kiss the ground before you leave some place."

It might have been meant as a joke, but in her monotone voice it didn't sound like one.

She walked (floated) toward the gate and he followed along without a word. In fact, their entire walk (float) was spent in silence, and while Near enjoyed his peace and quiet, he had to wonder if this is how others felt around him… put off, like anything they said didn't matter to him. Like talking to a brick wall. Then he decided he didn't really care.

Just as Muhasha had predicted, there were no 'creatures' anywhere along the path they walked. As soon as they stepped onto the brick road of Eversun, Sapphire turned and began to walk (float) back to her city, without a word.

Resisting the urge to 'thank' her for the 'kind service', Near gave the city a once over. Defiantly nothing like anything he had ever created with legos, blocks, or cards… nothing like he'd ever imagined in his games. There were people all over- or, well… at least what he assumed were people. While he could easily spot a few humans, he swore he saw women with tails walking around, as well as people who he thought might be children, but one of them had a beard. Then again, if the people back in that village floated, (if Ryuuk had beady yellow eyes and a grin full of sharp fangs), the tails probably shouldn't have surprised him.

(Then again, anything from this alternative world should have been a huge shock. Was he really so disconnected from himself?)

It was almost impossible to walk along the streets without someone knocking into him. Still, he managed to avoid it almost halfway across the street (headed to where, he didn't know). Then someone a few inches taller smacked into him from behind, causing him to fall forward- thankfully, the whole floating thing came in handy, and instead of being face first on the ground he found himself in the air.

As he struggled to put his feet back on the ground, the person who had bumped into him snapped in an angry voice, "What where you're going, damn it."

The voice sounded a bit familiar, much like a voice that Near knew belonged to a person diseased over four years. Curiosity got the better of him, however, and he found himself turning, expecting to find himself facing one of those people with tails or something.

Wrong. Very wrong.

Blonde hair, falling in an unkempt and lazy style, almost like he'd only cut it out of necessity, instead of the need to look good. Bright green eyes, wide with shock, staring at him with a look Near was pretty sure was on his own face. An old burn, dotting the left side of his face, crawling down his neck and across his back. A face that he remembers, a face burned into his mind, a face he'd tried and tried again to push away…

"Near?" That voice speaks again, saying his name. He wants to deny it, because… because there's no way this is possible. This had to be a dream, now he knew that for sure it was. He'd been hit by that car and thrown into a dream world, like Dorothy hitting her head and ending up in Oz. This wasn't reality… it couldn't be, no matter how much he wanted it at this very moment.

It couldn't be… Mello was dead.