Prompt: "Inhale the future. Exhale the past." - Unknown
Fandom/Series: Death Note
Word count: 1801
Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, profit from the story and all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator(s).
Summary: Near visits an old friend and as he speaks, remembers events of the past and wonders, how could the future turn out and would it ever be the same without the one he holds dear? "I miss you."
“Always I got told, inhale the future and exhale the past.” Near spoke. “Always too, I have found the saying rather ridiculous as you can never let go of your past, now can you, Mello? Constantly we live in both the future and past, there is no real present in my opinion. We live in the now. The past too, it can be both painful and beautiful. I remember Wammy’s.”
The Wammy building was as hectic as usual. The kids were running around, having fun since the tests were over and of course, Near had gotten the top mark, so the usual confrontation with Mello was bound to happen.
Near peered up from his toy blocks when he heard a familiar voice shout of his name. Speak of the chocolate lover and he shall come. “What is it, Mello?”
“You got top mark again!” Mello practically hissed, anger and hatred in his eyes. “You must be cheating.”
“I’m not cheating, Mello.” Near replied rather bluntly, looking away from the blond boy and back to his toy blocks. “Unless your definition of cheating counts as the information in my brain.” He continued to stack the blocks.
Mello’s blood boiled with anger, coming second again obviously didn’t please him. He kicked over the stack of blocks, the tower falling and the blocks scattering around. Near still didn’t look up at him, just at the floor and the blocks still in his vision. “Look at me.” The white haired boy still didn’t look up. “Look at me!”
Near finally looked up, his intense gaze meeting Mello’s angry one. They both stared at each other in silence for a good ten seconds before Mello huffed and turned around, walking away from Near.
Near watched him go until he was out of his vision before he slowly looked down, gathering the toy blocks and starting to rebuild the tower yet again.
Every time they had a test, an exam, this would happen and oh, how he counted down the days.
Any kind of attention was still attention from the blond, hot headed boy and though he wouldn’t admit, Near liked being near him but even the smart Near couldn’t figure out why exactly that was. Mello hated him, or rather, he acted like he did.
Near sighed and sat down on the concrete, looking at the other. “What you did to my tower was rude, I hope you know that. “ The white haired boy looked to the side with the usual expressionless expression, staring at nothing. He tried to keep his composure.
Emotions were his weakness. Emotions were always his weakness. God. If he couldn’t feel at all it’d be better.
He looked back to the other. “But I forgive you.”
“Near! You’re not going to eat that, are you?” Mello inquired, walking up to the white haired boy who currently was playing with toy robots, an unopened chocolate packet near his feet. Every now and again the orphanage would get chocolate, a bar for each student.
“No.” Near replied simply, making the robot ‘walk’. Mello shifted, trying to think of a way to say what he wanted too and upon noticing this, Near looked up, his eyes meeting Mello’s. “You can have it if you wish, Mello.”
Mello grinned, leaning down and snatching the chocolate up. “Good, I would have taken it anyway though.” He said.
“I’m sure you would of, Mello.” Near replied, looking back down to his toys again and ignoring the blond boy who still stood in his place, watching him. Attention is what he wanted and Near knew that but despite his knowledge of Mello’s wants he didn’t look to him.
“Tsk.” Mello unwrapped the chocolate bar and bit into it, the loud crack reaching Near’s ears. Mello spun around and walked off, his footsteps loud.
When he knew the blond boy was gone, Near looked up and stared in the direction he went with an emotionless expression. He looked around the room for a moment, double checking it’s emptiness and making sure that he was alone.
Suddenly, Near gripped the robot in his hand tight, bending the right arm of it and gritted his teeth, looking down, his fringe falling and covering his eyes.
Why wouldn’t Mello just- Why wouldn’t Mello take the opportunities to be closer? To talk to him?
What did he have to do to get Mello’s attention and assure a good future with him? At this point it seemed impossible.
“Truth was, I have always liked you.” Near stared. “I’m not good at conveying feelings like that, which is probably why I’ve never really had friends.” He curled a strand of his white hair. “Sometimes I did think you were my friend and I think you did too on some level, though we did fight a lot.”
Mello grabbed the collar of Near’s white shirt, roughly shoving him against the wall, pinning him there. He stared into his eyes with a gaze of fire. “I will never work with you.”
“It’s one of us or both of us. L is dead, Mello.” Near said.
“L is dead.” Near continued.
“I said shut up!”
“L is not coming back.” Near spoke again, his tone cold as usual.
Mello snapped and let go of Near only to punch him. Still his expression didn’t change. How could this guy remain so stoic all of the time? It angered Mello to the limit. “Change your expression for once, you emotionless robot!” Mello snapped angrily.
Near stared in the direction his head was turned when he got punched. His cheek stung. Slowly he turned his head to face Mello, his expression dull and cold though his eyes had a hidden sadness. “L is dead.” He said. “It’s one of us or both of us.”
“I will never work with you,” Mello stepped back, cooling off a little bit. “And you will never be like him. Ever.” He kept his eyes locked with Near’s.
The white haired boy stared at him in silence for a good ten seconds, emotions whirling inside of him. He felt so much, he always has but never has he conveyed it. Emotions were always something that brought you down. Emotions never helped anything or benefited anything or anyone. He hated emotions.
Emotion was part of the reason he couldn’t embrace the future as well as he made out – becoming L and complications with the one he had always wanted to stay close to, Mello.
“I know.” Near replied.
Mello rose his brows in surprise, taken back by the two words. He glanced down a little, almost sadly and understandingly then up, mouth parted to say something then closing again. He glanced to the side and back, swallowing. “I’m glad you know.” He sneered rudely though to be rude was not his wish. He turned around and walked off.
“I know how stoic I am displeases you, sometimes it displeases me too.” Near got out a chocolate bar and placed it in front of the other. “Emotions aren’t something I like. I’ll let you in on a secret though, back then I could feel so much. There are no words I could possibly string together in any human language to convey how I felt, though I felt worse when I got the news.”
One of the agents walked into headquarters. Near was in the middle of the room, surrounded in dominos he had lined up perfectly, a robot with a bent right arm next to his left foot.
“Near.” The agent exhaled, voice hesitant.
Near didn’t look up from his dominos as he picked one up and placed it down in line perfectly. “What is it?” He asked, calm and collected like always.
The agent hesitated but soon spoke. “Mello is dead.”
Still the white haired boy didn’t look up from his dominos. It was silent. The agent wanted to speak but he didn’t dare say a word, a lump in his throat.
All of a sudden, Near flicked the domino and watched the swirl of dominos all fall down. When the dominos all fell and made the swirl shape they were in, the usually emotionless boy suddenly hit the robot away, it skidding into some nearby dominos and breaking the shape.
He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists so tight his knuckles turned white.
Mello is dead.
Mello is never coming back.
He opened his mouth as if to scream in the emotional pain he felt but nothing came out of his mouth. Tears just welled in his eyes and he bowed his head, putting his fists to his face.
Mello is dead.
Near closed his eyes for a moment in pain then opened them. He got up off the concrete, slowly petting down his pants and then the crinkles in his shirt. A sigh left his mouth, his breath able to be seen thanks to the cold. Three words Mello never thought he’d hear and he’d never get to hear left the white haired boy’s mouth. “I miss you.”
The grave was grey and cold because of the temperature. It was so cold that surely it would snow soon. The cold only added to the sadness he felt now, didn’t it?
With his foot, Near pushed the chocolate closer to Mello’s grave. “You can have it if you wish, Mello.” He spoke those familiar words, feeling his heart aching even more than it already was when he spoke them. Oh. Everything hurt.
“Inhale the future. Exhale the past.” Near nodded his head slightly to his words and the phrase, staring at the grave as if it was Mello standing right in front of him, left hand in his pocket and a chocolate bar in his right. “For you, I will let go of the past, Mello.” He placed his hand on the cold grave, the tips of his fingers freezing. “For you also, I will embrace the future. Kira is dead and I know I will never be L. I am N and you are M.” He ran his hand down the grave sadly. “Without you, I wouldn’t have defeated Kira so easily.”
His eyes looked down to the chocolate Mello loved so dearly then back to the grave stone, at the words marked with Mello’s name and death date. Mello would never come back and he needed to accept that.
Mello would want him to go into embrace the future and head into it with all he had, all of his strength and willpower so that’s just what Near would do. Even if Mello would have never admitted it, he cared for the white haired boy just as much as the white haired boy cared for him.
Near turned around. “Until we meet again.”
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