Not a Creature Was Stirring, Except a Mouse.
December 24th/25th, 1997
The aroma of fresh gingerbread cookies drifted from the kitchen and lingered in every hallway and room. Not a one had been left, except of course a few left for Santa, they had all been passed out among the children and adults, as well as a special guest. The children had crowded the young man, cooing over him with questions about nearly everything and handing him small Christmas gifts, mostly some of their small treats, knowing full well he'd happily accept them in the thousands. But alas, the day had long since ended. All the children had been sent to their rooms and were sleeping, the headmasters and caregivers had done the same, why even the special guest decided to curl up in bed. The young geniuses of Whammys knew that "Santa" was a mere fable to trick children into behaving and staying moral, but they gleefully accepted the tradition in hopes of getting something special as a reward. The littlest of children had passed out from their sugar rushes, tucked in tightly by the caregivers, while the elder children had gone on their normal schedule.
All except one little mouse, that happened to dislike sweeter things. He was far too excited to sleep.
Weeping willow trees with lollipops for leaves, pine trees with slabs of chocolate for needles, and bushes made of pure cotton candy all decorated the land. Pavements made of hard candies, dirt made of marshmallow and grass made out of licorice. Bark was made of cookies and flowers were simply candy canes. Lakes of honey and rivers of ice cream were here and there. In the center of the Dentist's nightmare was a solid castle, built out of hard candies and cookies.
Inside the walls stood a single throne, with a sturdy sugar cookie build and marshmallow cushions. Female servants, dressed in skimpy chocolate dresses, ran to and fro with trays of delights. The King they happily serve perched, much like a frog, upon his throne, hugging a tray close as he finished off the large cake on it. Clad only in pajama pants with horribly designed gingerbread men on the fabric.
His obsidian eyes lulled as his tongue cleaned the platter of crumbs and icing. With a snap, servants were at his sides, taking his tray and holding out several new ones. Cakes, pastries, candies, everything absolutely mouth-watering. A pale hand reached forward, grabbing a slab of milk chocolate for consumption.
The King pulled the sweet away from his face, staring at it accusingly. He stared at it, flipping it over several times to inspect it. Shaking his head and brushing it off, he lifted it slowly to bite in to.
He jolted back, staring at his empty hand, the chocolate now missing. The King rose from his throne, looking about the area for his servants, all who had seemed to have simply vanished.
"L~!" A normally soft voice whispered gravelly into his ear. With that, his kingdom was replaced with a dark void.
Everything was hazy, and dark of course, at first when L cracked an eye, but his vision saw correctly. A petite ghost sat on his stomach, with a finger poised to poke his face again. The porcelain skinned boy smiled, his goal accomplished. His normal white pajamas replaced with a copy, adding only faint blue snowflakes to the material. The eighteen year old on his back turned his head to the clock. Red numbers shown proudly, taunting him. 12:04 A.M.. He turned back to the boy, muffling a yawn with his hand. "What is it, Near? Did you have a nightmare?"
Near shook his head, making his ivory curls dance. He hopped, much like a rabbit, earning a grunt from L. "It's Christmas." The six year old hopped once more then began fondling his pajama sleeves, his anxiety urging him to jump.
L deadpanned at the albino. "Technically, yes. But the common room won't be unlocked til nine. You may sleep here, but please, sleep." He rolled onto his side, sending the boy down onto the mattress with a gentle thump.
Near scrambled back up, his toes curled and uncurled, wiggling in the confines of his socks. "But you're L! Surely you must have a key. Besides. I have been a good boy and waited. They promised me presents- toys, on December twenty fifth. It is now, December twenty fifth!"
The older male closed his eyes, curling up under the sheets. "Near, you will have to wait just a few hours longer. Go to sleep." L softly plead, his kingdom so close.
But no, the six year old would not have it. Near huffed then repositioned his legs.
L's eyes popped open as the bed began shifting abruptly, the platinum haired boy inches away, rocking the mattress like Poseidon would the sea. He reached out, placing a hand on Near's head and squishing him down, ceasing his jumping. The boy's short stature worked against him yet again. "Near. Go to sleep." Releasing the boy, L tried to sleep with the excited boy next to him.
Silence became a welcomed guest as everything was still. The bed shifted mildly, Near must have given up and decided to curl up next to his mentor. At least, that's what L hoped. However, he clearly felt ebony eyes on him. He opened his own. Wide owl eyes stared back at each other, one pair through tar bangs, the other through milky curls. Near scooted closer, his eyes seemingly getting wider and more doe-like. The child inched closer, whispering faintly. "What did you get me, Santa?"
"The rare occurrence when I actually want to sleep, no one will let me." L thought, narrowing his eyes. Near was far too preoccupied to realize he was wide open. With a quick jolt, an arm had snaked itself around the boy, pinning him on his side on the bed. L smiled and pulled the covers up, hugging the boy to his chest like a teddy bear. "Goodnight, Near."
Said mouse wiggled and squirmed like a worm to be free, but was only held tighter. Near pouted, giving up one conquest for another. He stared at the clock as time slowed to a snail's pace. Eventually relaxing and scooting back til his back pressed against his sleeping mentor's chest. Sleep finally overcame the six year old.
Sunshine attempted to sneak into the room, but heavy black curtains blocked it's path. All the other lights were kept off, as well as the door shut tightly. Lights and sounds had to be blocked out temporarily. A small boy was curled up in bed still, even though it was already three in the afternoon. The covers had almost magically piled themselves like a fort around the boy, while a little bit of drool dribbled onto the pillow.
A silent observer was perched in a nearby chair. He read a paperback book while slurping his tea-splashed sugar from a cup.
An older gentleman leaned down, whispering in the younger man's ear. "That's all of it, L."
L looked up from his novel, nodding and whispering back. "Thank you, Watari. Please enjoy your day off."
The desk that normally stood in the corner of the room had silently been removed. In it's place stood a petite tree, outsized by the wrapped presents piled around it. It's ornaments were merely modest, but good enough for the job.
L had gone back to his book when a hand patted his shoulder. He looked back to his Father-figure, exchanging warm smiles. "I found something addressed to you while searching for all of Near's gifts." Watari's kind voice whispered, producing a small plastic bag. The expected Christmas designs on the outer plastic were snowmen and Santa, as well as some decorated trees. The red ribbon held a small tag by its bow. It read; "To L, from Near." L pulled the ribbon, unraveling it quickly to peek inside. The strong aroma poured out of the enclosed plastic like smoke. Inside were gingerbread cookies, to be specific, the fresh baked gingerbread men from last night. The sleeping albino's mentor smiled, silently wishing the boy a Merry Christmas and to sleep well.