"Genius, by its very intensity, decrees a special path of fire for its vivid power."~Phillips Brooks

Something had changed in Near's purpose. It wasn't that he had strayed from his course of action, nor was it that his volition was out of reach. It was something minor, a beneath-the-surface thought that ensconced itself firmly into his body, without showing any sign of departure.

No one noticed this in the task force, for the change was subtle, without a display of apparent emotion. But Near knew. He knew, for he had spent his life enmeshed in patterns, deep within match-towers and puzzle-pieces. There was nothing more satisfying than losing himself in equations, and only after hours of patient concentration, uncovering the answer. He had been called brilliant, a young mind sculpted to unmatchable genius by the Wammy House. He had been told that he could see things, patterns that which lesser beings could never discern ever, if at all.

But what he was praised for had nothing to do with his current predicament. Near found himself stepping out of his pattern, and remarkably, not caring as much as he should have that he was changing. He was still sharp, his mind flexed like pulsing veins in a developed bicep, and he defeated any notion of atrophy when he uncovered patterns in the pages of the Death Note.

The breaking of the pattern wasn't a bad thing, it was just linked with inevitable consequence. Based on the late L's findings, whole possibilities outside of the realm of logic were opened. There were beings, helpers who "assisted" in amoral neutrality by giving mankind killer notebooks, either for purposes of ennui or mayhem. The existence of these beings, these "Shinigami" did nothing to truly scare Near.

There were a few troubling notions that it brought up however. If these beings, these gods of death that L uncovered truly existed, then where did the possibilities end? The row of dominoes, the carefully made puzzle of creation was brushed, and a pool of monochrome was revealed, a current of shades of black and white, and jarringly enough, gray.

Did this mean that creatures of folklore were real, and that what went bump in the night were dark entities of nightmare? Perhaps. What mattered wasn't nonsensical what if's; logic, impossibly enough, was still before him, and it was up to him to work with the information he had been given by the man he was destined to succeed.

Or rather...that had been his intent. He fully believed in ending Kira's reign, for what he was doing was evil and went against the code of morals, of the very fiber of ethics. Thou shalt not kill. The sentence for manslaughter. Personal conscience, the goodness of the human spirit. None of those things meant anything to this being, for he was so highly elevated on the power, high off of what the pages of the Death Note did to him, that he thought himself a god above mankind. That degree of hubris made Near sick.

But now, with the shifting of his thoughts, of the pattern that made him who he was, Near found himself in a very interesting situation. Instead of loathing everything that Kira was and all that he stood for, he found himself oddly fascinated with the thought of "Kira" of the killer that the world was all but supposed to bow to. By the power of the Shinigami that was attached to Kira as a sort of malicious accomplice, as well as the lack of strain it had on this person's mind, Near applauded the human for not losing himself. Power always had a way of twisting men beyond recognition until they were fully gone, bereft of sanity and identity itself.

But not with Kira. Light Yagami had a purpose, albeit a magnanimous one. There was a god-complex there, megalomania, and most certainly a split-personality. However, that didn't excuse the fact that Light was entirely himself through all of this.

In Near's mind, he fashioned an image, one that latched itself to his inner-eye and didn't let go. In the throes of a dream, Near slumbered. In this dream-vision, Near saw Light Yagami on a throne, one that was crafted with only the finest gold. It shone radiantly, almost as if he had fashioned sunlight and used that to provoke comfort. The throne was covered in rubies and diamonds, and around the arms and head of the chair were the paws and head of a lion. A small smile was on the man's lips, complete with a passionate look of needing to make a difference. A velvet coat of shadow covered his shoulders and back, pooling and spilling to the floor, marking a world of blank, bereft nothingness. But, with a wave of his hand, a world was created just as suddenly. Moonlight spilled from the velvet-skies, star-glow twinkled in the black firmament, and all traces of shadow were gone. All that was left was an emblazoned K on the crown of the chair, and with a smile, the Light Yagami in Near's mind crossed his legs, settled back in the chair, and it appeared that the letter was his own personal diadem.

And, to the immediate left, was a throne just for him. The throne was made of gold as well, with a red-velvet cushion. The chair was filled with precious gemstones, embodied with an aura of future power, a contentment the likes of which the lot of mankind would never know. And on the head of the chair, was the letter N.

Kira/Light looked at him from his place in the shadows, gave him a genuine smile, and gestured to the seat. Deep in the realms of Near's rationale, he knew that this was all an extended metaphor, an analogy stretched to the point of hyperbole. His psyche was playing tricks on him, tricks that he always knew the way around. If he thought back to early lessons in psychology, it would be obvious that Near secretly wanted to share this power with Kira, and it was just now surfacing in his state of consciousness that had remained buried, up until now.

Light's lips moved, and Near found himself fascinated by the gesture. He said two words: Join me.

Near awoke on the floor, covered in a pool of his own perspiration. He sat up quickly, rubbed his eyes with his fists, and made a decision, one that he knew he would never regret. Quickly, he phoned the other members of the SPK and informed them that they didn't need to come in today, for today would be a day that he spent by himself, in quiet and uninterrupted reflection. Any hindrance from outside forces would result in their immediate suspension to the case. He was obeyed.

The clock clicked to the hour, symbolizing a victory. It was still remarkably early, and none of the police officers who helped with the Kira Investigation and the SPK were at the headquarters yet. Had L been alive, he would have never slept, and would have been sitting bolt upright, staring at a computer screen, reading reports and new evidence, again and again.

Near erased that image entirely, for that was not his purpose anymore. He had a new reason to exist, one in which no one saw coming.

He dialed the number, and during the inevitable dial-tone, he felt something stick in his throat. He cleared his throat a few times, swallowed, and then felt a frosty sensation creep into his breast. No. He was not nervous, or anxious...or was he? Near blinked a few times, awaiting the voice that would fill his eardrums, belonging to the man who had haunted his dreams not minutes before.

The voice that answered was the voice-disguiser, but with the way the eloquence dripped off of the casual pleasantry of answering the phone, there was no question: Light Yagami was on the other line.

"This is Near. Have any of the other members of the investigation arrived?" They hadn't, and Near knew this to be fact, for he had Light on a live-stream recording on the screen right then. With his index finger, Near made the camera focus on a side-view of Light Yagami, and he found himself enjoying the image far more than he ever had before. Even so early in the morning, the young man looked remarkably refreshed, ready to take on all of the tasks that he had allotted himself with. He didn't look stressed out, burned out already and coming off of a terrible caffeine buzz. For, Near thought with a rush, gods never looked frazzled, or sleep-deprived.

Based on Light's response, he trusted him, even if it was only for the moment. A moment was all he needed, to drop his proposition. "Light Yagami, I made the other members of the task force stay home for the day. There was a reason behind my actions, and here it is: we need to talk, privately. I am wiping this footage of our audio recording as we speak, Kira, for I don't want for any of the others finding out about this."

Instead of pathetic and rather ostentatious outbursts of "I'm not Kira" or attempts to dissuade the accusation, Light did something that marveled Near and made him lean closer to the screen. Light sat down at the desk, sat back in his seat, and swiveled around until he was almost in direct eye-contact with the hidden camera in the room. No one knew of the camera's existence, not even the other members of the SPK that Near had once trusted. Light held the phone to his ear, smiled in achievement, and nodded.

"Go on, Near. I'm listening." And did he listen. Near explained where he wanted to meet him, and that a car would be used to pick him up to the place of meeting. No trickery was to be made, Near gave him his word. Though, in a world where even members of the SPK could be paid off, and the true identity of the man the world knew as L was really Kira, one's word meant less than nothing.

This was a gamble that could easily cost Near his life, and the life of the god who he might join. However, nothing good ever came without a price, without risk involved. If years of puzzle-crafting had taught him one general token of advice, it was that one had to step back several feet, to see if one really wanted to complete the task before them. And Near found that he did, but with a different set of obligations fueling his steps.

Near watched the cameras and saw the car pull up to the building, dropping off an immaculately dressed young man. With the way the color footage revealed Light's presence, Near was almost thunderstruck at his physical beauty. With his naturally highlighted auburn hair, as well as the honey-color of his eyes, and the tan work-shirt he wore, the man embodied sunlight, the gold of the throne that he was sitting on in the dream. Near also saw the Shinigami, one that remained outside, almost as if awaiting further instructions. The clown-faced creature of nightmare took to the skies on wispy tendrils of wings, and was no more. The man who looked so immaculate still had a shadow over him, a demon that trailed behind him like a dark-twin. And that made Light far more interesting.

If Light had the ability to bid the Shinigami to leave, even if it was only for a meeting, Light was far more powerful than Near gave him credit for. Even if the amoral being who existed in the netherworld left of his own initiative or not, the creature was still very much gone, and he was alone with Light.

Light entered the building and took the instructions that Near gave him: take three lefts, a right, and then up a flight of stairs. There would be a key hidden in part of the wall, and he was to open the only door there, and stay in the room. The door would be locked after that, and the lights would turn on, revealing a rather quaint room: a couch with earth-tone pillows, a mini-fridge with plenty of water and food, as well as items meant to inspire comfort. The only difference between this room and the other interrogation rooms were the furnishings that Near had taken the liberty of placing in there. There was also a sheet of thick, bullet-proof glass that worked as a one-way mirror, meant for careful observation. Near could completely see Light from the other side, but Light would be unable to see beyond the realms of the glass.

That was how, one hour from the time Near roused himself from his extremely vivid dream, that he found himself barely separated from the god who he wished to join in his pursuit for a new world.

Relaxed against brown-leather was the body of a man who had fooled so many. He was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands and millions, of criminals. He killed not on a whim, but on a wish to rid the world of the moral taint that so stained humanity. Near saw it too, the disease of mankind that lured citizens into the den of sin, a sin that had to be abolished, lest it feed off of itself in a self-destructive feeding frenzy. Light Yagami saw this, years ago, once he came into contact with the notebook and the Shinigami. He was completely willing to give up his fate for the desire for a new world. It was honorable, though the majority of the world didn't see it that way. They were either against him to the faintest fiber of their beings, hating Kira and all that he stood for. Or, they were supporters who were willing to join a coven of raving lunatics that was all but accompanied by maybe a handful of those who were truly sane.

For the first time in his life, Near was incredibly impressed. He leaned against the glass, white hair and gray-eyes reflecting back at him, all with the image of Light Yagami to his upper-left. Out of nowhere, Near found himself plagued with a needle-point of doubt in his chest, one that nearly made him gasp aloud in its suddenness. He knew where this came from. Was this correct, to join a god to help a new world, based off a dream and intellectual attraction?

Yes. Yes, it was. There was no one who could stop him: no parents, no Watari or Roger, no other children at the Wammy House who he was competing against for a spot as L, no Mello and his incessant and puerile attempts at challenging him. There was no friend he had, no companion aside from the toys and items he surrounded himself with, like families fashioned of cardboard and plastic, wood and other materials. He could choose his path, choose to be something other than the head of the SPK.

"Near, are you going to tell me something, or are you just going to look at me all day?" And then they began to tell each other things. Near told him about the dream he had, and ultimately, about the proposition that he had for Light. He explained his plan, his intellect, as well as what he hoped to achieve. And finally, he said that the plan would make them both L and Kira, both god and the world's supposed savior against this dark-god.

All the while as they were conversing, Light's posture changed. Had it not, Near would have found himself in irretrievable trouble. Light had been sitting with his legs crossed, with his back against the cushion of the chair, his posture ramrod straight. He looked like a businessman about to discuss a proposal to the worthy masses, and that was fine with Near, for it was the beginning of their conversation. Then, it changed. Light's legs un-crossed and he leaned forward in his chair, clasping his hands, listening intently to what Near was telling him. That was a good sign that Light was intrigued, and truly engrossed in what they were telling one another. It could have been an elaborate game of pretend, but Near knew the separation of acting and the truth when he saw it, even behind a sheet of glass. For maybe the first time in a long time with Light Yagami, he was being genuine.

That was all it took for Near to reveal himself further. Near was very deliberate after that with his speech, and he used vocabulary that would have stunned a lesser being. He used poetic terms for the dream, describing in length the throne, the shadows, and above all, the dual longing dream Light and his dream self had to be at each other's side. He then began speaking in terms of psychology and sociology, and he threw in a few medical terms here and there, to see if Light really was as sharp as everyone proclaimed him to be.

Light was whip-smart, lashing forward with verbal rebukes of his own, speaking in a tongue that was rarely exercised for such things. They were both friend and foe then, rival and soul-mates in academia and intellect.

Never had Near felt so alive. His blood felt as if it was boiling in his body, his mind ablaze in thoughts and sensations, and above all, his heart ricocheted in his ears, that of a hummingbird's after a long flight. His body was responding to this, coming to life after a self-made coma of settling for the mediocre. But now, in the wake of a genius to match his own, Near found himself wide awake, thirsting for challenge.

All the while, Light leaned back and placed his left arm over the cushion, almost as if he were watching a program on television and wanted comfort. For a moment, Near wondered what it would feel like to be nestled against his arm, beneath his chest, with the other hand wrapped around his waist. That thought stimulated his body even further, his breaths slipping past his lips,creating a myriad of lust and fantasy-driven libido that stunned him into inaction. Nothing was truly taking place, aside from in his own mind. But the mere thought of being with this man set his soul aflame, coating his skin in electricity. It felt as if he was peering over the edge of a precipice, eyeing the edges of a vast landscape and valley, and then teetering back to safety, again and again.

Almost as if Light sensed what was going on behind the glass, Light sat up and walked in a fluid motion towards the wall. He placed his hand to the glass and looked down a few centimeters, directly towards where Near's eyes were. Even though a wall separated them, both of them knew the other's motions, the other's thoughts. Symbiosis dwelled here, in the form of a mental attraction that was slowly unraveling into a web of physical lust, one that needed to be slaked.

Near found his toes clenching against the floor, his fingertips lining up perfectly to Light's. Light pressed his fingers close to the glass, to the point where a print would be left unless someone scrubbed it very deliberately. They were leaving impressions of one another, impressions of what they desired from each other.

Just like in the dream, Light's lips formed two words: "Join me." Much planning had to be done, much scheming and plotting to make this all work in their favor. One false move, and the dominoes would fall, falling in not only a current of black and white, but in a Rorschach of their own blood.

Near found himself fascinated with Light's mouth. The lips parted, forming an almost rose-colored shape, showing a flash of pearl-white teeth, and a pink tongue. What would it be like, Near contemplated, to kiss a god?

His hand clenched the glass, almost as if he were pawing at it, willing it to shatter and break, so that he could touch the being behind the wall, the one who he now realized how far he was willing to go for him.

As if Light understood what was taking place, the flustered appearance, the clenching of his toes and hands, as well as the tightening of his crotch, he nodded and bid for Near to stand as tall as he could. Near stood on his tip-toes, towards where he was at the perfect level to kiss Light, if he were able.

Heedless of hygiene, of how well the glass had been cleaned, Light leaned forward and pressed his lips to the glass. Near memorized the fluttering of Light's eyelashes, the way his eyes closed as if in fervent prayer, and the way his hands were, glass and barriers aside, on either side of Near's body. If the damned wall were not separating them, they could truly kiss.

Kissing, Near knew when Light separated his lips from the glass, would have led to so much more. He was prepared to bed a god, but it couldn't be right now. The most important thing was to plan the steps accordingly, and not let their now mutual attraction get in the way of their scheme. When they were both gods of the world, they had plenty of time to get to know one another's bodies beneath only the best of covers.

"It's settled then?"

"Yes. Until then, Near."

Near had been right: breaking the pattern was a beautiful thing.

lnlnlnlnln

The thought of surprises had never really meant much to Light Yagami. There was always something that gave away the very thought of a surprise, some flicker of evidence in the behavior of others that always let him know what was taking place. That was why when his mother had tried to plan a surprise birthday for him years before, he was not as astonished as she would have liked. He just calmly removed his coat and joined the camaraderie, enjoying the celebration. No one ever surprised him, or caught him off his guard.

There was only one who had done such a thing, and he was very much deceased. Such an adversary stimulated his mind to a high that Light had never known. Never did he think he would find such an intellectual equal again, and Light was fully prepared for such disappointment. L had constantly challenged him, keeping his mind sharp and ready for the next mental attack. In all technicalities, though he would never outright admit it, Light missed L for only that reason: as a mental stimuli.

That was why Light found himself delightfully surprised that, on a regular Tuesday morning on the early hour, he received a phone call from Near. He was not as awake as he would have liked, for he had a very peculiar dream the night before which involved sitting on a throne, watching a world turn from darkness into a world of starlight and celestial makings. The dream woke him up earlier, which was why he found himself in the place of meeting at 5:30AM.

He looked back on the moment, on the act as being a notion of fate. Though Light didn't really believe in such a thought, in predestination, he still knew that the timing of that day was perfect, ideal. It was as if the gods of time were on his side as well as those who controlled death. If this call was not an act of some higher power, that above what he wished to surmount and overcome one day, then Light was fully prepared to say he knew nothing at all.

The terms were simple, and the plan was laid out: Light would visit Near, without Ryuk, and they would discuss something. Light had a clear idea of just what Near wanted, and the thought was flattering, if not a little disconcerting at first. In the beginning, he looked up to the camera out of spite, out of a physical declaration that he knew where the camera was, and he was still one step ahead of Near, even after all this time.

However, something intrigued him about the character of Near. He was the head of the SPK, and by all accounts, they were deeper rivals than he and L ever were. There were a million images of what Near looked like, but they were all coated in layers of N's and the SPK sigma. On this day, Light knew he would never see Near, and he was fine with that. He just couldn't believe that he had managed to charm and elicit lust in his supposed rival. A game of cat and mouse could always be more fun if there was attraction on one end, and the cat goaded the mouse on, all for a piece of cheese it would never sample. An unexpected move in this living chess-game kept Light on his toes, and he loved that.

Ryuk flew off, chuckling in that guttural guffaw of his, and Light knew inner-peace. Whatever would come of this meeting would decide the fate of so much more than his mission. All of the pieces were in place and so much was at stake. And if Near was willing to play a part in his mission, Light accepted that with open arms. Kira could always use more supporters, ones that were not hell-bent on committing heresy against his name and were actually intelligent. Mikami had proved his worth, and Misa had proved herself useful with her eyes, time and again. Three minions, worthy companions would make his reign that much more complete.

He walked in the building with every intent of welcoming Near to his side, all the while with the setting of multiple tests. What he did not expect was to be surprised, shocked to the very core of his being. Near had pulled some tricks of his own, with his intellect, level of intelligence, and as an added bonus, the obvious arousal that was taking place behind the wall.

Light saw his reflection gazing back at him with the polished glass: a self-composed young man, one that was unarguably handsome. His good looks were backed up with a mind that was lightning fast, and behind his eyes was a purpose that others thought was justice, the ability to do good. He knew that Near was watching him very carefully, and had been for the longest time. That was why he chose to answer as Kira, though it seemed foolish if analyzed. It was really quite simple: with Near's blatant attraction for him, be it mental or physical, Kira had now gained another supporter.

And, to his immediate disbelief, he found that he loved that. He loved the thought that he would have someone at his level, someone who could share the title as Kira, all the while masquerading as the L the world knew with him. What jarred him more however, was the thought of sharing a dream with Near. That was physically and logically impossible, sharing fragments of sensations and thoughts, with the clear picture in the sleeping mind's eye. However, when gods of death munched on red-apples for snacks, and black notebooks marked the end of criminal's lives, who was to say that sharing dreams and intentions was not possible?

Their paths had been crossed, entwined again and again in an irretrievable dance of actions, actions that would pave a way to the world Light envisioned, so brilliantly. To match Near's very vivid dream of him as a type of king on a throne, Light had a similar thought. He pictured Mikami standing to his right, his arms behind his back, almost as if he were a sort of body-guard that watched over him all hours of the night. He wore a coat of arms, etched with the letter K, all embossed with brilliant striations of turquoise and silver. Sitting on a cushion with lips stained red from apples was Misa. She was dressed in an elegant gown and had a tiara of blood-rubies on her head, all the while she ate apple slices and sipped wine from a large goblet. And to his left was Near, his lover and partner in this scheme for a living Elysium.

Light blinked away the fancy, moistened his lips, and crossed the distance from the sofa to the glass. He had kissed women before, made them moan his name in his bed, and treated them like they were queens. However, the being behind the glass, the being that he couldn't truly touch had his fascination, his attention, and above all, a part of his heart that no one had ever touched. L might have been able to feel it, if he had been still alive and not rotting away in the earth somewhere. But he wasn't alive, and life was for those that had a clear sense of purpose to live for.

His lips touched the glass, and he longed to press his lips to Near's mouth, tasting the promises, the sweet words and intelligence from him. All in good time, for there was a plan. But for now, in the few moments he was attached to the glass, he found himself reveling in the show of emotion he was displaying. As fucked up as it sounded, this was the first time he had been himself since L's demise, and he loved it. Light so hated the facade he was forced to don, day in and out, all for the show of those who he worked with. The being behind the glass knew the pain of playing pretend, as well as the notion of ending ennui and sin, once and for all.

They bid each other farewell and Light found that once he exited the building, all the while ignoring Ryuk's ceaseless questions, he found that his heart was racing in his breast, an ecstatic tempo for a passion-play that would become his actuality very soon. Near was his, and likewise, he was Near's.

Contact was kept at a minimum after that, two more times before the meeting at the Yellow Box. It still involved the interrogation room, easy-going conversations that spiked into a barely-contained lust for each other. Light knew that if Near was in the room, he would have kissed him breathless, pleasured him with his body until it was far past the time they were supposed to leave. That was why they couldn't truly meet, face to face yet: not because of a lack of trust for they were beyond that, but because of the timing. If one second was missed, one hour unaccounted for, the SPK and those that helped make "L" what it was would suspect them both, and the entire plan would be up in smoke.

And then the meeting at the Yellow Box occurred. He already had a script in his mind of exactly what was to take place, and how he would be revealed as Kira. That was part of the plan, down to the very last minute. All the while, he fought the urge to laugh and laugh, for everything was going swimmingly, aside from one little detail. Mikami, in all of this time, still couldn't be contacted, or told of this plan. If he knew what was taking place, a different outcome would have occurred, and that couldn't happen. Mikami had to believe that he was going to die, and just at the brink of death, he and Near would save him by all means possible. A king always rewarded their best knight with gifts, and the gift would be life and freedom.

He donned a bullet-proof vest underneath his clothing, took a deep breath, and let the bullets hit his protected skin, as if he was some sort of target. Light had to admit that as much as he loved the thought of a thrill, of a surprise, getting shot at by Matsuda was not a part of the equation. His hand would have to have major surgery if it was to work properly again, and the pain was excruciating.

As he laughed, throwing his head back in carnal ecstasy, he chanced a glance at Near. In all of his deliberate madness, no one was watching Near as he wrote the true names of the SPK in the other notebook, nor did they see the smallest of smiles, a smile reserved only for him as he cackled like a mad-man. He supposed laughing like that was overkill, but wasn't that what audiences wanted, a show? Playing pretend and making those in the warehouse believe that he was truly crazy was all part of the plan. Having them fall for it was his job.

The escape was well-timed, a dramatic exit into the fading sunlight. It blinded Light for a moment as he ran, gripping his wounded hand down the street, all the while heading for the staircase. It was symbolic and decided during the final meeting with Near that that was to be the place where they met, face to face for the first time. It had something to do with the fact that they were elevated from all of mankind now, and that what they would share there would be engraved in the folds of time itself. Light had to admit that he loved the way that Near thought, and he never expected for him to be interested in living metaphors.

All the while, Ryuk laughed and took out his own Death Note, fully prepared to write his name. He glared at his comrade and told him that his life was not quite over, not before he met Near.

Footsteps thudded in time to his adrenaline-laced pulse, and when a head poked around the bend, Light immediately relaxed. Near was younger than him by several years, but with the fading glow of twilight, that didn't excuse his physical attributes any. Hair as white as snow, with skin just as fair, white pajamas and charcoal-black eyes turned his lover into a walking monochromatic entity. He was brilliant, handsome, and everything that he could have hoped for and then some.

The notebook was tossed to him, and the name of that foolish optimist who thought himself a hero was placed there, in a scrawling of ink and characters. Touta Matsuda would be dead very soon, by the beating of his precious little heart.

"I've waited a long time for this." Near was pulled into his lap, and Light couldn't ignore the way that Near pressed against him, as if wishing to physically impress himself on Light's soul. Light gripped Near for a moment, and then released him to look at his watch. 20 seconds would mark the end of a foolish man's life, and the beginning of a brilliant existence. He breathed in the sweet scent of Near's hair, thinking all the while that he smelt like warm towels and fresh air. Ironic, for Near was clarity to his existence.

The moment was made sweeter when Matsuda came through the doors and his look of brief victory transformed into utter horror. Light loved the revelation, and it was made perfect when he pressed his lips to Nears, claiming the young boy and the world as his for the taking.

"Now, goodbye." Matsuda's eyes widened as his hand scrambled to his chest, futilely attempting to help the heart that beat beneath his rib-cage, attempting to bring it back to life. Light felt the leftover mania stretch his lips into a Cheshire grin, where his soon-to-be lover and comrade watched without expression. Light never understood why others thought death wasn't beautiful, for it was. The last expelling of breath from parted lips, edges away from a scream of despair that didn't quite make it...it was truly exquisite. And it was made all the better by the knowledge that every obstacle was eliminated, aside from the minor ones. Such as, breaking Mikami out of either an asylum or prison.

Light kissed Near's hair, and there was a swallowed moan that came out of Near's throat, rumbling like the makings of a growl. That made Light smile, for Near was filled with surprises. Who knew the little lamb would be so much like a lion? He trailed kisses up Near's neck, eliciting sharp exhales of breath from the younger male, which delighted Light to no end.

"The world is ours." Near gazed up at him with half-lidded eyes and nodded.

"Yes." Gently, Near eased himself out of Light's embrace, gripped Light's hand, and they walked out of the warehouse. "How's your hand?"

Light gracefully walked down the stairs in the glimmering flashes of final light, looking to his wounded hand. "Nothing that can't be fixed. God is invincible." Near looked up at him, and with that look, one that emanated with a fierce cruelty, a savageness that Light knew would be unbridled later on in the bedroom, he nodded his assent.

"Yes, we are." They opened the doors of the warehouse and stepped out into the remaining light, silent aside from their footfalls. Together, with a laughing Shinigami above them, they watched the light bleed across the land, staining the whole of Japan with the lights of the city. The buildings shimmered, parting the way from the mirage into a vision of tossed coins, blanketed against a river of moonlight. Their fortune, their treasure, all theirs for the taking.

On a whim, Light scooped Near into his arms and instead of a protest, Near snuggled closer into his neck. They stayed there together, silently watching and speculating the endless possibilities. Together, the silver city would pave a way to eternity for them, and they would rule the very earth by the might of their hands.

They shared a look after that, one of mutual understanding and fathomless desire, coming forth from a pool of a dual dream. For this one moment, the dream they shared became the actuality they breathed, the reality they exhaled.

"There's a lot of work to be done," Light breathed into Near's ear, all the while running his hands up Near's shirt. Near stiffened, and then pressed himself firmly to his chest.

"To hell with it; God has all the time in the world." Their eyes clashed in a smoldering look of sunlight and storm clouds, and with their kiss, the future was ideal, silver-side up.

The End