Between the Lines

Matt's feelings for Near aren't at all straightforward. And, come to think of it, they probably never will be. (mild Matt x Near, for the LJ 30 hugs challenge)

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#5 - Collide

Matt's feelings for Near aren't at all straightforward, and he will often get them confused with his feelings for other things. Like... silence. Winter. Near is the hushed stillness of the winter morning when the world wakes up to a blanket of freshly fallen snow. The moment when everything holds its breath, and you can never be more alone. And that... is Near.

It's like- All this time he has been in love with an ideal. The ideal of contemplation, of isolation, of holding yourself so far beyond the world that its concerns cease to involve you. A type of self-sustaining loneliness that isn't lonely at all. More like... loneliness without the L. One-liness.

A lot of times, Matt wishes he could stop being embroiled in all the petty confusions and miseries of daily life. To rise above it - that's what he wants. But instead, he's continuously being pulled back to earth. By Mello, by school, by his duties - he's bound in so many places that he doesn't know where the world ends and he begins.

Distance would be easier. That's what he loves - the thought that he could make himself far away. Far from the drudgery, the heartbreak.

Then being alone wouldn't hurt so much. Then he wouldn't need to reach out to people, or pull back as soon as they reached back. He would be satisfied with his own company. That's what he wants. He wants to be that nearly silent breath of wind that ghosts over the morning snow, ruffling it but never leaving any marks, never breaking that quiet. He wants to be solitude. He's in love with solitude.

Solitude is... Near.

But at the same time, he is in love with Near for himself. The white hair, the pale skin, the dark, secretive eyes - they fascinate him, draw him in and hold him when he tries to look away. Matt wonders what makes the boy tick, what he thinks when he completes his puzzle over and over again. Why he plays with his toys and has a closet full of them in his room. How he manages to be so bloody smart and not even look like he's working at it.

He loves the way Near's feathery hair feels when he runs it through his fingers. He hates the way Near will never allow him close, how he is so wrapped up in his own isolation that to let someone else in would be sacrilege. He loves it too, though.

It's complicated. His feelings, that is. And it gets even worse when those feelings collide - when he's holding Near in his arms and letting their heartbeats mingle, when he feels the rise and fall of Near's chest with every breath the boy takes, when he runs his hands over Near's back and feels the play of skin and muscle, reminding him that Near is not an ethereal being but a living, breathing human.

His love is incompatible with itself. He cannot have silence if he holds a heartbeat within his arms. He cannot have isolation when he is embracing a human being. He cannot have solitude when he has Near.

But Near is solitude.

It's terrible, Matt thinks, when the person you love and the idea you love collide, and you can't even begin to make sense of either. But really, honestly, he wouldn't have it any other way.

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So the themes for this are from the 30hugs community on livejournal, and we're not required to do them in order. Thus, this is more like a collection of discrete one-shots rather than a continuous, multi-chaptered story. The only thing they will have in common is a penchant for angst and a hug, metaphorical or literal, real or imagined. Reviews are always appreciated.

Oh, and there was a little quote from ee cummings in here, too. (But I won't blame you if you don't find it.)