A/N: Right, so, I'm sick and feeling a little out of it for writing, so here's a little ditty that's all ready and finished to make me feel better. ^^

While running through my steadily growing 'Death Note' story file, and finding some old fics that will never be finished, I also happened across one entitled 'Dream'. I don't remember writing it, and I certainly don't remember typing it. I had to read it halfway through before I remembered it at all. That being said, I rather like how it came out. Just a shorty to keep my M/N fantasies under control, (shush), while I explore the psychosis of Beyond Birthday.

Disclaimer: Death Note and related characters © Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. I just torture them because I think it's funny. ;D

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Dream

Raven Ehtar

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He was never one to show anything. Not emotion, not weakness, not pride, and certainly not fear. He never allowed the outside world to see anything except for that pale, fragile shell of a body, hiding the cuttingly sharp mind behind eyes like two dead suns, taking in everything around them and filing it all away. No one would ever know that he was as human as the rest of us, just as likely to err, and just as easy to break. No one would ever think it, because he never allowed anyone to think that it was possible.

I've always hated him. I'm always second to him, the little emotionless bug that he is. Whatever I do, it's never enough to catch up to him, much less surpass him. It seems impossible, the amount of effort I put into everything that I do, and it never quite measures up to what he does… I hate him for how perfect he is, how he never seems to do anything wrong, and how he doesn't even have the decency to gloat a little bit, like a normal person would. But… all of that might have been endurable.

It might have all remained as it was, frustrating but bearable, maddening but sufferable, if he hadn't shown me the way he really was… and made himself even more a part of my skin.

I don't know what came over him that made him walk into my bedroom after lights out. I don't know what it was that compelled him to climb into my bed. And I certainly don't know what it was he wanted to accomplish when he started touching me, softly but assertively. But, if I was confused by Near, then I understood what I did even less.

I suppose I thought it was all some sort of bizarre dream I was having, some kind of twisted, subconscious desire surfacing as I slept. It was all too strange, too surreal to be real. Why would I think it was, what was there about any of it that would make me think it was reality and not dream I was faced with? Near, in bed with me, breathing my name quietly but huskily as my hands slowly explored him, his own smooth fingers gliding over my skin… how could that be real? How could any of it be real?

When the sun came up, I was alone. When I saw Near, he was as cold and distant as he ever was. There was no reason to believe that anything that had happened had been more than a particularly vivid dream.

I dreamt again that night, and the next, and the next as well. Night after night I dreamt about Near, silently opening my bedroom door, his bare feet padding across the floorboards, and then the slight weight of his body making the springs groan as he sat and then slid into the bed with me. I never questioned the dream-Near why he came, and he never offered any explanation. There was no need for either, as this was all an illusion, and nothing here had any bearing on who we were in the waking world. It didn't matter that I knew he was my rival, that he knew I hated him. All that mattered while we slept was how soft his mouth was, how his fingers would dig into my hair and scalp, and how throaty his moans would become as the dream progressed. The waking Near was never one to show anything, while the sleeping one showed me everything.

He had emotion, he had weaknesses, he had pride, and he most certainly had fear. The waking me would have seized on all of these revelations and used them to gain an advantage… but this was a dream me, and none of that mattered in a dream.

The waking might have been bearable, if it hadn't been for the dreaming. The waking and dreaming were so far apart from each other, and yet so close, it was insufferable. Waking and dreaming, Near looked exactly the same, sounded the same, and behaved the same, but for the tiny difference of pretending to be aloof from all. I wanted to take away his waking masks, reveal him to be what he was, and have him for my own while the sun was up. In dreams, he was mine… in waking, I was second, trailing after him again.

You can't do this to me, Near. You can't show me who you are, make yourself even more into something that I crave for, cloud my mind with the sight, sound, smell and thought of you, and then pull yourself away. You can't hide behind your masks, leaving me alone to twist without you. You know that I'm not a person who can hide what they are, as you can. My waking and dreaming selves are too close together to remain secret from each other.

I tell myself that the next dream will be the last; that the next time he comes to my bed after we're asleep, I'll put an end to it. No more nighttime meetings, no more daytime plays, there will be no more discrepancy between waking and dreaming, and I can go on hating him without any uncertainty.

I tell myself that the next dream will be the last… but it never is. Near visits me in dreams almost every night, and I never tell him to finish sleeping in his own bed. I never tell him that I want to dream alone, without his company or his touches. I lift up the blankets so he can clamber in under them, and scoot to the side to make room. His eyes like dead suns in a blanket of snow stare at me in the darkness, and I can see everything here that he never allows to show anywhere else.

His hands find my face, my hair which he curls around his fingers. I put my hands on his shoulders, and pull him closer to me on the small bed. Always, just before I can cover his tiny mouth with mine, and lose myself in the dream completely, he'll whisper my name. "Mello…"

Dreams can be memorable or they can be forgotten. They can be vivid or barely noticeable. They can have an impact and change the course of your life, or they can be the pebble in the road, only one more tiny rock to make up the whole. My dreams with Near… they might have changed me, and they may have changed him, but there will never be any way to tell.

He was never one to allow anything to show.

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A/N2: Despite my forgetting all about this fic, it was written out in early October. o.O I guess my workload was higher than I thought, since I'm getting that forgetful. It was quite interesting, though, re-reading it. Almost like looking in an old journal entry. XD

Thanks again, everybody, I hope to see you all again very soon!