Dream of Mirror 2; Corners of Reality
Chapter 11; Corners of Reality
In the few days it took for Near to awaken, things had returned to some-what normal. No-one had heard from Next and both Obi and Kayen refused to track him down, saying he would come back when he needed to (and since he hadn't, Mello was pretty sure something was up. Especially after Matt told him that the castle had been missing huge chunks, the last he'd seen). Kayen had returned all of the tired mirror kings home before disappearing, as well. Obi had retrieved Nate, who had been forgotten in all of the chaos- she'd found him wandering in a forest. Apparently Holand had released him when the world had started to crumble, saying she didn't need him anymore.
Mello was growing more and more worried as time passed. Part of him believed Near would never awaken- and that very same part told him that even if he didn't, he would wait by Near's bed side forever.
"Mel, dude, you really need to eat something or at least get some sleep," Matt said for at least the tenth time, entering the room once more. It was a routine by now- he would walk around the castle aimlessly for an hour or two before returning to try and get Mello to eat or sleep.
"Not until he wakes up," Mello replied as he always did.
"You're going to kill yourself, worrying over him like this. Life has to go on if he doesn't wake up, Mello."
"I can't die, Matt."
Matt sighed, just as he always did, and turned to leave the room once more.
This time, however, he smacked right into Next.
"Next?" Matt questioned. Mello glanced up from Near's prone body, spotting the younger boy standing in the doorway.
Next looked like he'd been through hell. His long hair was amiss and while before it had hung in curls to his waist it now was chopped up around his face, much like Near's was, although a bit longer. He had dirt smeared on his face and scratches over his arms and legs. His clothes were torn and bloody and his eyes were wild.
"Next?" Matt repeated, trying to get some sort of answer out of the albino.
"I killed him," Next whispered. Something w
"You killed who?" Matt asked, putting his hands on Next's shoulders.
"Mihael," Next choked on the word, taking a step back. "I killed Mihael!"
"It wasn't your fault. The castle-" Matt tried only to have Next cut him off as the younger boy grabbed his head in his hands, screaming.
"No! It was my fault! If I hadn't taken Near away from this reality then it wouldn't have happened! It's my fault! I killed Mihael! I killed Mihael and I killed Mail!"
Mello and Matt exchanged worried looks and Mello stood up, approaching nervously. Carefully, he reached out and pulled the small body against his body. Next stiffed for a moment before relaxing and breaking into sobs.
"Its all my fault," Next mumbled once the sobs had died down, collapsing against Mello in exhaustion. "All m' 'ault…" he continued to mutter to himself until he fell asleep, completely worn out. Mello lifted him into his arms and laid him on the bed next to Near.
He jumped when a hand reached out and grabbed hold of his shoulder, grabbing on for dear life.
"Mello?" Near asked in a whisper.
"Near?" Mello's voice was eager, but the excitement quickly died down. Near's eyes were still black and the albino was panicking, his grip shaky.
"I can't-" Near tried, his other hand reaching out blindly. Mello grabbed hold of it and grasped it tightly in his hands. "I can't see Mello…"
"I'm right here," Mello promised. "I wont leave you."
"Hurts," Near whispered. "Everything hurts."
"That's because you're a dumbass!" Mello snapped. "What were you thinking!? Taking on that shit- Near, you're lucky it didn't kill you!"
"Had to," Near whimpered, gripping Mello's hand tighter. "I couldn't lose Mello."
Mello glared at him and Near shifted, sensing it even though he couldn't see it. "You're an idiot," Mello snapped. "You could have at least asked me to help you take on that shit- look at you, you can barely move and you can't see! Your body is dying over and over and you're in constant pain-"
"Mello would be the same if I had let him help me," Near reminded with a wince. "I don't want Mello to be in pain."
"Idiot!" Mello snapped although it didn't hold and bite. He sighed and flopped onto the bed between Near and Next. "Near?"
"Mihael is dead."
Near frowned. He blindly reached around until he found Mello's face, before he laid his hands on the other's cheeks. "Next is here?"
"Right behind me," Mello answered.
Near shook his head only to wine in pain as he did so. "I can't… I can't feel him."
Mello sat up. "What do you mean?"
"My abilities aren't working," Near informed.
"Its probably that stuff you took in," Matt said suddenly, causing Near to jump as the albino had no idea Matt was in the room as well. "Its messing with your body as well as your mind- its probably causing a block between you and your powers." He sighed and dropped his head into his hands. "You need to rest, Near."
"Can't," Near forced out. "Hurts too much."
"Try?" Mello asked as he lay down next to Near and pulled the other into his arms, stopping a few times as Near winced at every little move. "For me."
"Okay," Near agreed, closing his black eyes and sighing lightly.
Next awoke to find Mello next to him, asleep. Near was in Mello's arms and he was awake- his eyes were open, but they were pitch black.
"Near?" Next asked meekly.
"Next?" Near turned his head in Next's direction and Next couldn't tell if he was looking at him or not. "Next is awake?"
"What is wrong with Near's eyes?" Next asked.
"I can't see," Near answered. He sounded exhausted. "Is Next okay? Mello told me about Mihael…"
Next frowned and glanced away, fingering his chopped hair. Instead of answering he said, "I think I should take Holand to another reality."
"What?" Near questioned, frowning.
"She's already destroying this reality," Next explained. "The only way to stop her is to take her to a different one."
"But she will destroy that one, then," Near replied.
"Not if I take her back to her own reality," Next pointed out.
"Can you do that?" Near asked. He had no idea how jumping worked.
Next nodded, before realizing that Near couldn't see it. "Yes."
"If Next thinks it will work then I trust Next," Near sighed before shifting his position only to wince slightly.
Next watched him with a frown. After a few moments he sighed and offered, "I'm really sorry, Near."
"I know Next is," Near replied, not offering him any comfort because, well, he was Near. After a few moments of silence he finally commented, "I don't blame Next for what happened. Next shouldn't blame himself, either. It was a mistake- I'm not sure how jumping works but Next is me and that means Next is smart. Next didn't do it on purpose."
"Thanks Near," Next replied even though the words didn't offer him anything by way of comfort. Still, it was nice to hear Near trying.
"I know Next doesn't want to talk about it," Near went on and Next stiffened. "But I am sorry about Mihael."
But Next was already gone with a flash.
Holand looked up as Next appeared in front of her. She had been expecting Near or Mello, but not the long haired one- at least, he had been long-haired, once upon a time. His hair was now cropped short and his face was stained with tears. He looked like he'd been through a war zone.
"What do you want?" She asked. "You already ruined my plan to destroy this reality, what else can you do to me?"
"I can take Holand home," Next replied.
Holand lifted her head once more and stared at Next coldly. After a few moments she realized he was dead serious. "You… mean it?"
"Yes," Next answered. "Not everything has to be solved by violence. Holand could have found a jumper before hand and asked to be taken home- Holand didn't have to try and destroy this world."
"Is there anything we can do, Matt?"
Matt sighed again, about to bang his head on the wall behind him. Mello kept asking, over and over, if there was any way to save Near.
"I told you, Mel," he repeated. "The only way we could even hope to get that shit out of him is to take him out of this universe, and we can't do that or it will just fall apart again."
"What if I take his powers?" Mello asked.
"You can't. You were already a mirror king."
Mello groaned and dropped his head into his hands. "Isn't there anything else we can do!?"
"I'll do it."
Both the blonde and the redhead glanced up as Next walked into the room, looking like a holy beacon in a dark tunnel.
"I'll take on the mirror king powers," he said.
"What?" Mello asked.
"Then Mello can get Near out of here," Next went on, ignoring Mello. "And Near will be safe."
"Next, that isn't a good idea-" Matt tried.
"I have no other reason to stay here," Next explained, depression washing over his features as he dropped his eyes. "Mihael is gone, meaning I am now king… but I want to run away so badly. If I take Near's powers I won't have a choice, I will have to stay here."
Matt and Mello glanced toward each other. After a few moments it was Matt that finally spoke. "We'll ask Near what he thinks."
Next looked almost desperate. "Near, please-"
"No," Near answered a second time.
"Near, this stuff is killing you," Matt explained. "We need to ease it, at least a little bit- if you give away your powers-"
"Then Next will go crazy too," Near informed. "Then Next will be dying too. I can't do that to Next."
"Near, please," Next begged a second time. "I need this- I need a reason to stay here. I… I can't do it without Near's help."
"Then leave," Near told him.
Next took a step back. "What?"
"Let someone else take over as king," Near continued, his black eyes staring blankly, as if staring through Next. "Leave this world, go back home. I won't give Next my powers, so Next has no reason to stay here."
"But-" Next started.
"I'll do it," Mello said suddenly. The group turned to look at him (save for Near, of course). "I'll take over as King," he explained.
"Mello?" Near asked, his voice tinted with surprise.
"Dye my bangs blue, whatever," Mello went on. "I'll pretend I'm Mihael, if I have to. If Near's staying in this reality, then I am too. I might as well help out while I'm here. I'm tired of just sitting here, saving your ass over and over- its time I do something productive."
"Is Mello sure?" Near asked, attempting to sit up. Matt helped him, leaning Near's body against his own so the albino could stay up-right. "This is a lot of responsibility."
"You saying I can't handle it?" Mello huffed.
Near smiled slightly. "No, I'm not saying that. I'm just… worried that it might be overwhelming for Mello."
"Excuse me," Next cut in. "But isn't anyone going to ask what I think about this?"
"What do you think about this, Next?" Matt asked.
"I hate the idea," Next explained. "Near has been stuck in this reality for years. I think he should be able to go home."
"I don't want to give Next my powers," Near explained.
"The only way to get rid of that stuff inside of you is for you to leave this reality," Matt informed. "So if you stay here, Near, you're going to blind and sickly for the rest of your life- which will be forever, by the way. Next is right, as much as I hate to admit it."
"But-" Near attempted.
"Near," Mello addressed, catching his love's attention. "Next is right. You have to admit it."
Near dropped his head. "I don't want Next to suffer with what I have gone through."
"I'm already suffering," Next mumbled. "What's a bit more? Besides- if I start going crazy, maybe Mihael will appear before me."
"It's not the same," Near muttered.
"Please agree, Near," Mello begged. "Then we can go home- then we can get you well again. Get that shit out of your body. You need this."
Near sighed, shaking his head for a few moments. He then dropped his shoulders and said, "Fine."
"Really?" Matt asked, surprised. "I expected more of a fight from you."
"I'm not well enough to put up a fight," Near muttered.
"This is going to hurt," Near informed. "A lot. In fact, Next is going to pass out and probably not wake up for a week. I will be gone by then. Raito will be here to take care of you."
"I will too," Matt said suddenly.
Mello stared at him. "What?"
"I'm staying," Matt informed, putting his hand on Mello's shoulder.
"Why?" Mello questioned, eyes wide.
Matt laughed. "I have my reasons and you would think they're stupid, so I won't bother telling them to you. But I'll be in touch- I know a few jumpers so I'll come to visit you two, okay?"
"Matt, I don't like this-" Mello started protesting.
"If I have to give in to something I don't like," Near cut in. "Then Mello does as well."
"Shut up, you!" Mello snapped, crossing his arms.
"Is Next ready?" Near questioned.
"Yeah," Next answered with a nod, although Near couldn't see it.
Near started to glow, the ten mirrors in front of him doing the same. One by one they all shot a bright light out, hitting Next's body. Next cried a little bit more with every light that entered him- by the third one he had passed out, but Near didn't stop. Finally, when the ten lights were done, Near flopped to the ground, worn out.
"You okay?" Mello questioned as he helped Near to stand.
"No," Near replied, honestly.
Matt scooped Next into his arms and stared down at the albino boy sadly, in an almost loving manor.
Mello scoffed. "Oh. Oh. I get it, now."
"Shut up, Mello!" Matt snapped, his cheeks tinted red. "I told you, you would think it was stupid…"
"I don't," Mello promised him. "A little fast and somewhat confusing, yeah, but- hey, you love who you love and you can't help it."
Matt sighed lightly and followed Mello and Near from the room.
"Ready to go home?" Kayen asked, smiling lightly.
"Not really," Near answered.
"Good. See you around!" Kayen chirped. He then opened up a portal and Mello stepped through- this time with his arm around Near's waist so he couldn't be left behind, once more.
It took Near almost a month to be able to see again, but once he could he threw his arms around Mello and held onto the blonde tightly. It was weird for him, going back to the old life style- not being able to float or use any of his abilities.
Mello went back to being L, but it wasn't the same without Matt around. Linda ended up taking over Matt's job as Watari and she was good at it, but it still wasn't the same.
Once Near was well, however, he took over Watari's job and Linda went back to her life with her daughter, bidding them both farewell with a warm smile.
It was in the middle of a murder case that it happened-
Matt appeared in the living room suddenly with Obi, both of them landing on Near's toy castle.
"Woo-hoo!" the redhead cheered happily. "I haven't got ears anymore!"
"Matt?" Near questioned.
"Hey, you!" Matt greeted. "How are you doing? You can see me! I'm so glad- how are things holding up without me around?"
"Shut up, Matt," Mello called from the next room. "I'm trying to work." There was a pause before he appeared in the doorway, eyes wide. "Matt?!"
"Hey, Mel!" Matt grinned. "I told you I'd come for a visit!"
Mello threw his arms around his best friend and they started bombarding each other with questions, laughing like old times.
Obi sat down next to Near and began building up another castle, noticing how Near's looked a bit like the old castle he used to live in.
Things were back to normal. Or at least, as normal as they could be, considering everything.
Yes, I hate the ending. : But I wanted to end it because I lost all motivation for this story. So here you have it. A happy ending too! Woohoo.